Official wheat procurement plan fails to take off
Jammu, May 15: The much-hyped official plan to procure wheat in Jammu and Kashmir seems to have grounded before its take off.
If official sources are to be believed the lack of coordination between various government agencies has resulted in failure of the plan under which Wheat Procurement Centres were to be set up to in major wheat producing areas.
The failure of the plan has “again forced the farmers to sell their produce to the middlemen at lesser prices.”
The official procurement at Minimum Support Price of Rs 1285 per quintal was to start from May 7 at 12 locations in Jammu region.
Interestingly, the agencies concerned are shifting the buck on the delay in the procurement.
Sources said the Agricultural Department had to provide facilities (adequate space) to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for procuring the crop from the farmers.
After getting adequate space and required equipment like weighing machine, grain cleaners, winnowing fans, and tarpaulins from the Agriculture Department, the FCI was entrusted the task of procuring the produce.
The arrangements for procurement had to be made jointly by the FCI, Department of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) and the Department of Agriculture at 12 locations in the main wheat growing areas in Jammu.
The centres were to be established at Chanoo Chak, Gajansoo, Pargwal, RS Pura and Khour in Jammu district, Sanji Morh in Kathua district, besides Field Store Depots of FCI established at Chatha, Nagrota, Kathua, Rajouri and Udhampur.
Pertinently, the CAPD and the FCI had notified the procurement process.
Sources in the FCI said that on the first day of the procurement, the corporation officials including crop inspectors visited the respective venues but they had to return due to the absence of the requisite facilities there.
Director, Agriculture, Jammu, Ajay Khajuria while talking to Greater Kashmir said, “The department has provided all requisite facilities but it is the FCI, which is taking time.”
He blamed the FCI for delay in procuring the wheat, but hoped that the procurement would start within few days.
Mela Ram- a farmer from village Kattal Brahamana of tehsil Hiranagar while talking to this correspondent said, “The time when the crop is harvested, farmers want to sell the produce to get money so that they can manage their day-to-day affairs. In absence of government procurement centres, the farmers have no option but to sell their produce at lesser prices through or to the middlemen”.
“The MSP for wheat fixed by the government is Rs 1285 but farmers get just Rs 1100 per quintal while selling it to the middlemen,” he said, adding that during initial days after the harvesting, the state government has failed to come to the rescue of the farmers and middlemen are calling the shot.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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