Amid lockdown UP procurement of grains had declined sharply. The lockdown imposed due to the pandemic has even affected the agriculture sector along with other major sectors.
As reported by The Wire, Ravinder Singh of UP, failed to sell a grain of his production of 50 quintals, as his grains were damped. Due to the lockdown, Ravinder has no option, except to sell his crops, no matter it is being sold at a lesser price.
In Uttar Pradesh, the procurement procedure is very slow despite being the largest wheat producing state and having the largest number of procurement centres. Due to slow procurement of grain, centres are unable to purchase grain from more than a couple of farmers in a day.
According to data collected by the UP government’s Food and Civil Supplies Department, during the last 22 days, wheat is procured by the centre from 33 farmers, which meant that on an average, in a day, each centre had purchased the grain from 1.5 farmers.
On the other hand, looking at the amount of wheat procured by centres in UP during the 22-day period, which is approximately 179.41 tonnes, one finds that each centre had procured 8.15 tonnes of wheat in a day on average.
Agrarian experts, as well as farmers, claim that this amount is quite marginal, and will hurt the farmers as they will be forced to sell their produce at throwaway prices.
Procurement centres play an important role in ensuring that farmers receive remunerative prices for their crops. However, the UP government has managed to meet the procurement target for wheat only once during the last three years.
In UP, The UPCF had the largest procurement with only 50 per-cent of the total procurement in the state, in the last 22 days, and per day average of wheat procured at one centre is around 11 tonnes, more than the state average but still quite low.
The condition of UP’s third and fourth-largest procurement agencies, UPCU and UPSS, is almost similar. During the 22 days, on an average 33 and 27 farmers have been procured respectively. At UPCU only 1.5 farmers were procured in a day and the figure was even lesser for UPSS.
Due to unpredicted rainfall this season, farmers have to face damp crops thus leaving the centres with one more reason for slow procurement.
Last year was no different, on average, the government in 75 days had procured 2 farmers in a day.
PROBLEMS STILL PERSISTS
After the procurement, problems of farmers still persists. Many have told that they would receive their payments but, had not received yet. A farmer from Jalaun, Nishant Paliwal, is a victim of this situation. He said that it had been better if he had sold this wheat to a private agent, no matter the price.