Not many buy the announcement made by the politicians before election. But this is the one that farmers in Chhattisgarh just cannot ignore.
The farmers have responded to the announcement made by different political parties to give bonus on paddy. For, the arrival of paddy had suddenly increased in the co-operative societies set up for paddy procurement in the state. The procurement process started in the state on October 20. But the officials were in a fix following the poor arrival of paddy in the societies. Following scanty rains, the state government had already curtailed the quantity and set a target of procuring 3.5 million tonnes this year as against last year's 4 million tonnes. In the first 10 days, only 40,000 tonnes of paddy arrived in the societies. The arrival of paddy suddenly increased after both the major political parties-- the BJP and Congress-- announced in its election manifesto to give bonus on paddy.
While the BJP announced a bonus of Rs 270 for a quintal of paddy, Congress declared to pay additional Rs 250 for a quintal of paddy to farmers if the party came to power. The polling in two phases had been completed in the state on November 20 while the counting of votes would take place on December 8. The farmers at present get Rs 850 per quintal of paddy as minimum support price (MSP) for the common variety and Rs 880 for the better variety or Grade 'A'. "Since the farmers would not get the benefit of bonus if they sell paddy in the Mandis or to the private traders, they have started approaching the government societies," a senior official with the state marketing federation said.
As on November 28, 989745 tonnes of paddy had been procured in 1577 cooperative societies across the state, the official said, adding that the flow of paddy arrival in the societies would continue in the same pace.
The farmer are getting high price in the Mandis as the traders are paying Rs 915 per quintal for the common variety and Rs 960 for the better variety or Grade 'A'. But the farmers have sold only 17,000 quintal of paddy in the Mandis.