Lokesh demands 100% purchase of kharif paddy

-Writes letter to CM for support price
-Govt procured less compared to last year
-Rythanna Rajyam not friendly to farmers

AMARAVATI: TDP national general secretary Nara Lokesh on Thursday urged Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to ensure hundred percent purchase of kharif paddy in the State by giving minimum support price to all the farmers concerned.

In a letter to the CM here, Nara Lokesh stressed the need for paying the paddy arrears to the farmers immediately and without any further delay. The farmers were facing lots of problems as the CM’s promises of ‘Rajanna Rajyam and Rythanna Rajyam’ were not yielding any results in the field level.

Lokesh asked what happened to the Chief Minister’s assurance to purchase paddy by giving support price to the farmers in their agriculture fields itself. It was sheer injustice to start rabi purchase centres without completing the kharif paddy purchases from the farmers all over the State.

Nara Lokesh said over 83 lakh tonnes paddy was produced in 39.15 lakh acres during 2021-`22 kharif season. The Government had purchased just 40.48 lakh tonnes only through 5,312 rythu bharosa kendras till now. Over 42 lakh tonnes of kharif paddy was yet to be purchased from the farmers. How could the rabi purchase centres be opened without completing even fifty percent of kharif paddy purchases?

The TDP MLC expressed concern that even the rabi paddy was not being purchased completely. The Government promised to purchase 50 lakh tonnes but it had stopped this abruptly. It procured 47.32 lakh tonnes paddy during 2020-`21 kharif season but stopped at 40.48 lakh tonnes this year. There was a deficit purchase of over 7 lakh tonnes this year when compared to last year.

Expressing serious concern, Lokesh said over Rs. 1,000 Cr dues were not being paid to the paddy farmers while not completely purchasing even their produce. The support price of Rs. 1,960 per quintal was announced for A-grade and Rs. 1,940 for common variety but the farmers were not getting even this price.

Nara Lokesh said that the middlemen were taking advantage as the purchases were not being made through rythu bharosa kendras and payments not being made towards procurement at the purchase centres. The farmers were selling to middlemen at just Rs. 1,300 per quintal. Over 70 percent farmers suffered losses despite the e-crop booking and RBK facilities.

Lokesh deplored that the RBKs were only immersed in serving the ruling YSRCP leaders but not the farmers. Due to lack of purchases and increasing debts, the farmers were left in a hopeless situation. Thousands of crores dues should be immediately paid. All farmers should be enabled to register for e-crop booking. There should be steps for hundred percent rabbi paddy purchase.