Madhya Pradesh farmers nervous after government delays wheat supply
Farmers in Madhya Pradesh are worried that the government has not started purchasing wheat despite the scheduled start date of March 22. Farmers have learned that the delay was due to weather conditions, including sporadic rains in some areas, posing a risk to crops for farmers who do not have sufficient storage to keep stocks.
The government purchases around 140 lakh tonnes of wheat out of 350 lakh tonnes to 400 lakh tonnes of wheat produced in the state. The current price of the mandi is Rs 150-Rs 400 per quintal lower than the MSP set by the government, which leads financially sound large farmers to keep their stocks. For small farmers who need money to buy seeds and other agricultural inputs for the next harvest or to repay loans, there is no recourse but to sell at the price offered.
Farmers claim that this year, thanks to ongoing unrest in various states, including Madhya Pradesh, prices offered for mandis across the state are not as low as feared due to the delay in onset. public procurement.
“Without the farmers’ demonstrations around Delhi and also in Madhya Pradesh, the prices of mandi would have fallen much more compared to the MSP as we have seen in the past,” said Kedar Sirohi, incumbent president of the MP Kisan Congress .
There are fears, however, that the mandi price scenario could worsen if government agencies do not start sourcing from registered farmers as early as April 15, as the stock pressure arriving at the mandis will increase with the wheat harvest nearing completion.
In the case of channa, the sudden surge in mandi prices of Rs. 1000 per cwt after about a month of R150-Rs400 per cwt below the MSP took farmers by surprise. This has made many people wonder if in the days to come before the public markets start, there might be a reversal.
Ram Inaniya from Anandpur village in Harda district, who finished his wheat harvest on March 12, is keeping his stocks of wheat and channa in anticipation of public markets. He is among those baffled by this turn of events as he and his family have waited more than three weeks for government agencies to initiate the procurement process.
While the new farm legislation allows farmers to sell outside the mandis, Inaniya is wary after dozens of farmers in neighboring Dewas district were duped four months ago by a trader, who claimed to have a registered license. Although the dubious trader has been arrested, the farmers deceived by him are still awaiting payment of around Rs 2.5 crore. So far, no official has come forward to offer them relief or assurance of payment.
Meanwhile, protests continue to be organized by farmers, mainly through mahapanchayats.