Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had announced that all grain crops will be procured directly from farmers, ensuring Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Telangana begins paddy procurement from farmers amid lockdown sets up 7700 centres
Coronavirus Agriculture Wednesday, April 08, 2020 - 09:37

The Telangana government has started paddy crop procurement centres across the state amidst the COVID-19 lockdown. The paddy will be procured directly from farmers at Minimum Support Price (MSP).

The state government has set up as many as 7,700 procurement centres across the state. State Agriculture Minister Niranjan Reddy, Finance Minister Harish Rao and Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar and others inaugurated the centres in their respective areas.

Earlier, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) had announced that every grain crop in the state should be procured at the MSP. He directed the government officials to procure the produce from the village-level without any hassles to farmers amidst the lockdown.

Speaking to TNM, Siddipet District Agriculture Officer Sravan Kumar said, "All necessary steps are being taken at the procurement centres to reduce any risk. sanitisers and water facilities to wash hands at the centres will be made available. Staff from the health department will also be deployed at each centre.”

Officials are issuing coupons for slots to farmers in order to maintain crowd-free procuring and to enable social/physical distancing among them at the centres.

"In addition to issuing coupons to farmers, the Civil Supplies Corporation will take measures to provide transport facilities as well," said Nizamabad District Civil Supplies Officer (CSO) BNVVK Prasad, adding that they have started procuring paddy in 543 centres across the district.

Sravan Kumar added that the Paddy Procurement Centres (PPC) will be functioning fully by later this week.

Minister Harish Rao, who inaugurated the paddy, maize and other procurement centres at Mundrayi, Akkenapalli Palamakula and Arepally areas in Siddipet district, also directed officials to ensure strict measures to prevent the entry of middlemen into the centre as these are set up for farmers.

Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar said that the entire procurement will be completed in all districts within 40-45 days.

According to officials, paddy cultivation has covered a massive 39 lakh acre as against the normal area of 17 lakh acre in the present Rabi season.

The state government announced that it will buy crops worth over Rs 25,000 crores and declared Rs 1,835 as MSP without any ceiling on the produce that each farmer can sell.  This means that farmers can sell their entire produce to the government if they wish to do so. In Siddipet district alone, officials made arrangements to procure 3.16 lakh metric tonnes of paddy and around 3.60 lakh metric tonnes in Karimnagar district.

Besides paddy, the government announced Rs 4,875 for Bengal gram per quintal and Rs 5,650 for sunflower (oilseed crop) at MSP.

While the government arrangements can favour the farmers across the districts, the unavailability of paddy harvesting machines is causing concerns. Several farmers told TNM that there could be a delay in bringing the crops to market yards as there is no adequate machinery on the ground.


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