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Leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party Kiran Chaudhry today asked the Manohar Lal Khattar government to also mop up long grain varieties of basmati rice on the lines of moong from the mandis, as farmers were selling their produce below Minimum Support Price. "The producers of such varieties of basmati are being forced to do distress selling and were getting much less than the Minimum Support Price (MSP), she said. Following reports that farmers were selling moong (green gram) below MSP, the Haryana government had announced last week that it will buy the lentil from growers by entering mandis. The former excise and taxation minister said while in 2013-14, basmati prices peaked to Rs 4,300 per quintal, this year the farmers were not able to get more than Rs 2,000 per quintal. A farmer sold his produce for as low as Rs 1,810 in Karnal the other day, she said. "If the state government can decide to procure moong at MSP, why not the long grain varieties of basmati," she said. The prices of some long grain varieties, including Tararoi, Pusa 121, Pusa 1509, Sharbati and Moochal, have not gone beyond Rs 2,000 per quintal which is way less than the cost of growing, she claimed. "It is for the third year running that the below-cost prices of these varieties of basmati have obtained.
This has pushed thousands of growers into the debt trap due to distress selling, and into depression. Should the state government refuse to intervene and bail them out, many growers who have borrowed money to grow basmati, may resort to the extreme step," she said.
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