Farmers brief central team on crop damage - ECAS Punjab

Farmers brief central team on crop damage

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Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 23

A four-member team of the Union Department of Food and Public Distribution, which was here to assess the crop loss due to rain, wrapped up its two-day visit today.

The team was sent to the state after Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh apprised the Central Government of the situation, saying he wanted some respite for farmers. The team, which visited several grain markets, spoke to farmers and learnt about problems being faced by them due to the recent spell of rain.

Many farmer unions in Punjab have already said rain at the harvesting stage is dangerous as it will adversely impact the grain’s quality.

“The government should announce that it will purchase wheat with up to 16 per cent moisture content, which is currently 14 per cent, otherwise the farmers will have to bear the brunt. Also, government agencies should not object to “discolouration” while purchasing the produce,” they said.

Central agencies have been rejecting “discoloured” wheat.

“Procurement officials are not purchasing 20 per cent of my produce, saying I could sell it outside,” said Gaganinder Singh.

“Even poultry and other farm sectors are shut and this grain will be of no use to me,” he added.

The team, led by Dori Lal, Uttar Pradesh’s Assistant Regional Director of the department’s quality control cell, will submit its report to the ministry soon so that relaxation could be given to farmers and procurement agencies. “For this, we have collected samples of grain from different mandis and held meetings with Punjab officials. Directions in this regard will be issued soon,” he said.

from The Tribune

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