RANIPET: The demand for opening direct purchase centres (DPCs) has grown louder after farmers in Ranipet district realised that traders formed cartels and offered low prices for paddy.
Sources said that farmers were aggrieved that TNCSC officials were giving various excuses for not opening the DPCs even as the harvest of Sornavari season paddy crop was nearing its completion. Due to the delay in opening DPCs, farmers lacking space to store harvested paddy have either to sell it to traders for low prices (private traders offer Rs 600 to Rs 700 for an 80 kg paddy bag) or else take it to the regulated markets.
“In regulated markets too, we found that traders had formed cartels resulting in farmers standing to lose money as what was offered was very low. While the price offered at the regulated market at Amoor for the CO51 paddy variety ranged between Rs 800 and Rs 1,172 for a 75 kg bag, the price offered for the ADT 37 paddy variety ranged between Rs 700 and Rs 1,210 for a similar bag. These are the two different paddy varieties which are raised by most farmers in Ranipet district,” said Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam Ranipet district president CS Mani.
What irks farmers is that while TNCSC officials said there was not enough harvested paddy to open DPCs, the Amoor DPC recently pasted a notice dated August 16 asking farmers to bring paddy only after August 24 as most godowns were brimming with paddy stocks. The DPC is yet to open too.
“Is this not enough to prove that harvested paddy is available and there is need for DPCs to ensure that farmers do not end up with losses,” asks the Sangam’s youth wing state president R Subash. “DPCs despite their shortcomings offer better prices and farmers are not held to ransom by trade cartels and that is why we demand that DPCs be opened if the government is serious about its claim of being farmer friendly,” he added.
The situation has resulted in farmers now stocking paddy in the open covering them with tarpaulins.