Lack of agriculture marketing system
Expecting bumper crop, farmers apprehensive of exploitation by Mill Mafia
Jammu, Aug 23: Though the farmers in Jammu region are expecting a bumper crop this year with the use of new hybrid variety of seeds, but in absence of marketing facilities they fear to fall in the trap of ‘mill mafia’ yet again.
Sources said that though the Agriculture Department had assured the farmers that a marketing system will be created, but so far it has remained on the text books – allegedly due to pressure from the mill owners having strong political connections.
Sowing season is almost over and the farmers are concerned that they will have to sell their produce directly to mill owners or to the agents, who would deprive them of the due returns.
Farmers claim that since past over two decades, they are being forced to sell their produce to mill owners who work as a strong mafia living no scope for the former to sell their harvest in open market. They said that farmers are forced o sell their harvest at the rates set by the mill owners which is far below the market prices.
“We fear that this time again our produce will not get the due price as there is no agriculture marketing system in the state with the government having no provision to lift the produce. If there is a bumper crop, the mill owners or agents will decrease the price and it will cause us huge loss,” said Balwinder Singh, from R.S Pura.
“The unholy alliance works in a quite meticulous manner with unscrupulous rice millers and commission agents designing their own Minimum Support Price (MSP)” said he adding the official rates are seldom followed in the state in absence of a system to lift the food grains by the government .
“ More the surplus crop, more the exploitation from the millers as they take advantage of lack of space with the farmers to stock their produce. They push in their own selling price and force the farmers to sell it on their own terms”, said another farmer.
Tejinder Singh, president of the Progressive Farmers Association said: “Agriculture markets are the need of the hour and the state government should take immediate steps so that by the time the crop is ready, there is a well-planned system”.
When contacted Director Agriculture Jammu, Ajay Khajuria said that they are talking with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to help the farmers and lift the produce.
“It is true that there is no system to lift the rice by the government agencies in the state, but efforts are being made to create a system with the help of the FCI. We hope that they will give positive response”.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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