Though farmers are arriving in huge numbers with truckloads of paddy, authorities are not able to match pace in terms of lifting of the grain, leading to a glut-like situation in the mandis of the northern districts of Haryana.
The situation has become so severe that farmers are even struggling to find space to unload their produce in the overflowing grain markets. Because of this, long queues of tractor-trailers are seen outside the mandis.
As per the Haryana food, civil supplies and consumers affairs department, 6.69 lakh MT of non-basmati paddy has arrived so far but around 80% of the procured paddy continues to remain in the mandis, causing a space crunch. In Karnal, 78,711 MT of non-basmati paddy has arrived in the mandis and only 18% procured paddy has been lifted so far.
Besides, basmati varieties of paddy, which are procured by private traders, are also occupying space. The highest 1.97 lakh MT paddy has arrived in the mandis of Kurukshetra followed by 79,966 MT in Kaithal, 78,711 MT in Karnal, 66,449 MT in Ambala and 51,527 MT in the mandis of Yamunanagar.
“I reached the mandi to sell my produce at 5 am on Saturday and waited in the queue for around three hours. After that, it took more than 10 hours before I could unload the produce in the mandi. Now, the buyers say that the moisture content is higher than the permissible limit and they cannot buy it today,” said Ajay Kumar, a farmer waiting to sell his paddy at Indri grain market of Karnal.
A commission agent at Nilokheri grain market of Karnal, Praveen Kumar said, “There was no space in the mandi and farmers are now unloading their produce outside the mandi as government agencies have not even been able to lift the paddy procured on September 25.”
“We are waiting for the procurement agencies to lift 3,000 bags of procured paddy of our farmers which are in the mandi for the past four days, but as of now, they have lifted only 2,000 bags since September 25,” he added.
Following the complaints of protests by farmers over the non-procurement in paddy in several mandis of Karnal, Haryana food supply and consumer affairs department director Mukul Kumar on Saturday reached Karnal and inspected the procurement operations. During the visit, he assured the farmers that every grain would be purchased and they will not face any problems. He said that the procurement of paddy in Karnal grain market was satisfactory and also interacted with the farmers.
About the delay in the lifting of the procured paddy, officials associated with the procurement agencies said that the delay was due to the non-installation of GPS in the trucks deputed to transport the paddy from mandis to godowns. But now the lifting operations will be boosted in the next couple of days, said the officials.
This article has been republished from The Hindustan Times