The rice millers of Punjab have written to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the state government to ensure that paddy with moisture content more than permissible limit of 17% is not forcibly stored in their mills. They claimed that they may not be able to return 67% of the rice after custom milling of paddy, as the crop with more moisture content would lose weight upon being dried.
The millers said since the paddy was procured for the central pool and stored in the mills under the central government policy, the Centre must undertake physical verification of the grains in the mills to verify that the procured paddy was as per the norms.
The Barnala Rice Millers’ Association on Sunday said as the state government did not want to irk the farmers, their agencies had procured paddy with moisture content as high as 20% and above. If any miller objects to store this procured grain, the state government threatens to blacklist them. Under such circumstances, millers are forced to fall in line, but they are in no position to bear losses, they said.
Every 1% increase in moisture content accounts for 1% weight loss in rice produced, they added.
This article has been republished from The Times of India