Tamil Nadu Farmers Upset With DMK Govt’s Revised Paddy Procurement Price
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Chennai: Paddy farmers in Tamil Nadu are disappointed with the recently fixed minimum support price (MSP) for paddy.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, on August 30, announced the paddy prices for the upcoming procurement season of 2022-23. It has been fixed at Rs 2,160 per quintal for the common variety and Rs 2,115 per quintal for the Grade A variety of paddy. The prices have increased by Rs 100 and Rs 75 per quintal, respectively.
Stalin directed the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) to pay paddy farmers the hiked MSP starting from September 1.
Farmers were hoping the procurement price would at least be fixed at Rs 2,500 per quintal as promised by the ruling party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in its election campaign.
‘STICK TO POLL PROMISE’
Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam (Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association), affiliated with the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), pointed out that the state government’s announced MSP for paddy is very low.
“As per the Swaminathan Commission's recommendation, if the Government procures produce at economic cost of production plus 50%, the farmers should get Rs 2,707.5 per quintal,” reads the AIKS statement released on August 31.
The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP), which is under the Union Ministry of Agriculture, determined the production cost for one quintal of the common variety of paddy at Rs 1805 for kharif crop this year. “However, even after the additional incentive price announced by the state government, the procurement price is only Rs 2,115 for common variety and Rs 2160 for the A grade variety," the AIKS said.
AIKS demanded the state government to at least keep up the ruling party’s election promise of Rs 2,500 per quintal of paddy.
“The DMK will increase the support price from 2000 rupees (under present ADMK govt) to 2500 rupees per quintal,” read DMK’s election manifesto.
“Given the spike in prices of seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, fuel and others, the cost of production has shot up. Yet, the union and state governments have increased only Rs 1 per kg of paddy, and this does not compensate for the expenses borne by the farmers. Farmers are distraught,” read the AIKS statement.
In the delta districts of Tamil Nadu, kharif paddy has been cultivated on 5.28 lakh acres, surpassing the record of the last 46 years.
But due to incessant rains, it has been reported that in many places, sacks of paddy stacked in front of the paddy procurement stations have soaked in the rain and been damaged.
The AIKS demanded that the Civil Supplies Corporation acquire all the paddy brought by the farmers to the procurement centres and ensure immediate payment for the same.
Moreover, the AIKS urged the government to set up sufficient temporary warehouses to keep the procured paddy safely.
Moreover, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has demanded the Tamil Nadu government and the district administration immediately conduct a survey and provide appropriate compensation to the affected farmers.
The Left party said that farmers have taken loans and spent more than Rs 25,000 to cultivate per acre of land.
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