: With paddy harvesting at its peak and most of the grain markets in rice producing districts of Haryana overflowing with stock, slow pace of procurement by the government agencies has led to a glut, forcing the farmers to line up for hours outside the mandis to unload their produce.
The officials monitoring the procurement operations said that efforts were being made to speed up lifting of the procured paddy to make space for more stock.
The government agencies have announced that there will be no procurement on Wednesday and the focus will be on lifting. Farmers have also been advised not to bring their produce in the mandis on Wednesday.
Paddy is mainly produced in Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, Fatehabad, Sirsa, Yamunanagar and Panipat districts of the state.
The government had directed the district administrations to keep a close vigil and take necessary steps to ensure hassle free procurement, but officials seem helpless to deal with the situation as long queues of tractor trolleys could be seen outside most of the mandis of major paddy growing districts of Kurukshetra and Karnal.
Karnal deputy commissioner Anish Kumar Yadav on Tuesday visited several grain markets and issued instructions to officials.
“I have personally visited several mandis and we have asked procuring agencies to focus on lifting and situation will improve by Wednesday. If not, action will be taken against transporters and officers concerned,” he added.
As per the official figures, out of the total 1.42 lakh MT paddy that arrived in the mandis of Karnal district, only 20,146 MT has been lifted.
According to the officials, the per day arrival has now reached above 75,000 MT, causing a glut in the mandis of the district.
Similarly, in Kurukshetra district, out of the 1.85 lakh MT wheat procured by the government agencies, only 35,908 MT has been lifted.
Farmers and arhtiyas have blamed the lack of planning and poor management of the government and procurement agencies for mandis overflowing with stock.
“Had they started procurement from September 15, the situation would have been different today. The harvesting was delayed by rains and now most of the crop has been harvested in the past four days,” said Madan Lal, a farmer who had to spend nearly six hours on tractor to get space to unload his produce at Ladwa grain market in Kurukshetra district.
Basmati prices plunge
The traders and farmers said the glut in the mandis has also resulted in a fall in the prices of basmati varieties which have come down to around ₹ 2,800 per quintal from ₹ 3,500 to ₹ 3,800.
“Since there is no space in the mandis, private buyers who purchase basmati are not showing interest in purchasing the premium rice. The traders say that they are not able to lift the procured paddy they had purchased earlier and now they cannot think of buying basmati varieties until the mandis are cleared,” said Rishi Pal, an official of a private trading company in Taraori in Karnal district.