Hyderabad: Telangana agriculture minister S Niranjan Reddy, on Saturday clearly stated that the state government will not procure paddy in the Rabi season, this year. Although farmers contractually bound to seed companies and seed development corporations are free to grow paddy in Rabi, including farmers from Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Nalgonda, and Suryapet districts who sell paddy to millers, the procurement this year is unlikely to happen.
Addressing the media, the minister said that the state would procure the entire paddy for the Kharif season as it satisfies domestic consumption needs. Although the Center is responsible for procurement under the Constitution of India, he said that the centre is attempting to pass that responsibility to the States in the absence of a clear national policy for procurement.
He alleged that the centre’s decision to not procure paddy in Rabi indicates that they are selfish and anti-farmer as they have surrendered entire food systems and the interests of farmers to giant corporates. He suggested that the centre start redistributing five kilograms of rice bags to households every month.
He pointed out the farmers have reaped the benefits of following the state’s advice of growing cotton during Kharif, which has high prices in the open market. He added that the farmers could go for oilseeds in Rabi.
The minister addressed the death of the farmer in Kamareddy who died on the heap of paddy he had brought to the procurement center, after guarding the paddy for a week. He clarified that the farmer’s paddy had high moisture and after bringing it to the market, it had rained again, causing the delay in procurement.