Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Unseasonal rains during wheat procurement have inflicted huge losses on farmers as their produce is devoid of any insurance cover at this stage.
Government run procurement centers including grain mandis and warehouses are seeing huge arrival of wheat. Hundreds of tractor-trolleys are lined up at the centers for the procurement. However, in view of the unseasonal rain the state is witnessing nowadays, the farmers waiting for their turn at procurement centres fear for their produce. The lack of sufficient sheds at the procurement centers have left these farmers at the mercy of nature till their grain is procured by the government.
Currently, food and civil supplies and MP State Cooperative Marketing Federation Limited (MARKFED) are procuring wheat in Madhya Pradesh. In 32 districts, food and civil supplies are making the procurement, while in the rest of the districts, MARKFED is making purchases. Wheat is being sold through official procurement channels at the pre-fixed MSP of Rs 2,125 per quintal.
Farmers said that if their wheat is exposed to rain, then it is not sold at Minimum Support Price (MSP) at the procurement centre. The state government has announced a financial relief of Rs 32,000 per hectare in case of damage to standing crop due to rain and hailstorm. It has assures early crop insurance payment in the event of 50 per cent crop loss. However, during the procurement process, the grain brought to the centre remains exposed to rain and at this stage if it gets soiled due to rain or any other reason, then the farmers have no option but to take it back as the center does not accept the grain. Since the produce is not provided any insurance cover at this stage, it is considered as personal loss of farmers and he has to bear all the losses, said a farmer Kedar Sirohi.
Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) state president Kamal Singh Anjana said, “ Sheds are not sufficient at mandi or warehouses which are seeing the arrival of wheat on a large scale. Unseasonal rain is causing huge losses to farmers during wheat procurement but the farmers are not getting any insurance to cover the losses.”
MLA Vishnu Khatri also maintained that the loss has to be borne by the farmers as grain damaged because of unseasonal rain at the procurement centres are devoid of any insurance cover. “It is not possible for farmers to bring all their produce to procurement centres under cover in tractor-trolleys. Once sold, then it is the responsibility of the procurement agencies to take care of the produce.”
We do take step to minimize farmers’ loss
“At the procurement stage, agricultural produce is not covered under any insurance scheme. If the produce is exposed to rain then we ask the farmers to dry the grain for a couple of days and then bring back the produce for procurement. It is a normal process all across the country in order to minimize farmers’ losses.”
Deepak Saxena, commissioner PDS
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