Monday, August 13, 2012

Don’t succumb to rice millers, Lok Satta tells Government

The Lok Satta Party today wanted the Government to stick to its July 2012 commitment to buy fine variety of paddy directly from farmers at Rs.1500 a quintal including an incentive of Rs.220 over the minimum support price.

In a media statement, Mr. P. Bhaskara Rao, Lok Satta Party state Secretary and Convener, Federation of Independent Farmers’ Associations, warned the Government against succumbing to millers’ pressure against its intervention in the paddy market. Rice millers reportedly claim they alone can render justice to the farmer by lifting paddy with higher than the stipulated moisture, unlike the Government.

Mr. Bhaskara Rao pointed out that if the Government enlightened farmers on the stipulated moisture content and assured them of loans against produce stored in local warehouses, they would not resort to distress sales. Once the Government enters the market, there will be competition between it and millers for paddy purchases resulting in the farmer getting a fair price for his produce.

If a Government agency procures paddy directly from farmers, gets it processed into rice and utilizes it for the PDS (public distribution system) both farmers and consumers stand to gain, Mr. Bhaskara Rao added.

He demanded that the Government publish the findings of its study on paddy marketing policies in Chattishgarh and Punjab.

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