Telangana government issues orders to procure Rabi jowar crop

Hyderabad: In a major victory for the jowar farmers of the state and for Rythu Swarajya Vedika’s Minimum Support Price (MSP) campaign, the Telangana government finally issued a government order authorizing procurement of Jowar crop from farmers at MSP.

In early June, jowar farmers hailing from Adilabad district had blocked main roads to protest against the state government’s refusal to procure the crop.

In the Government Order, state government permitted the TS Marketing Federation (Markfed) to procure the Jowar (Hybrid) under MSP of Rs 2738 per quintal. The GO also directed for procurement of 100% expected quantity of 1,31,345 MTS with the average yield of 10.44 quintals per Acre during Yasangi (Rabi) 2021-22.

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“The state government shall reimburse losses incurred by the TS Markfed on account of procurement of Jowar (Hybrid) under MSP,” said the GO.

Reacting to the GO, Rythu Swarajya Vedika activist S Borranna of Adilabad district said, “This is a major victory for the farmers of Telangana. Rythu Swarajya Vedika has been campaigning for jowar procurement in Adilabad district and has organized multiple protests by farmers since May. The farmers who followed the government’s advice to grow crops other than paddy, were having to sell the Rabi jowar crop under severe loss at a price of Rs.1500-1700 per quintal while the Minimum Support Price (MSP) is Rs.2,738 per quintal.”

RSV pointed out that in this Rabi season, the cultivation of jowar in fact expanded to about 1.25 lakh acres because of the government’s pressure on farmers to grow alternative crops instead of paddy.

Activist T Sreeharsha said, “The government has been compelled to take responsibility to ensure MSP to farmers, thanks to the farmers’ protests and the Court case by Rythu Swarajya Vedika. Last year too, the government started procurement only after we filed a PIL in the High Court. We hope that the government is more proactive in the future.”

RSV state committee member Vissa Kiran Kumar pointed out that the GO references the letter issued by Markfed on 12th May 2022, and asked, “Why has it taken 40 days for the government to start procurement when Markfed sent its letter on 12th May? The government should have started procurement in the month of May so that the small and marginal farmers are not forced to sell away their crop. At least in the future, the government should proactively implement the Minimum Support Price through timely market intervention and purchase whenever needed.”

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