The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of farmers’ unions in Telangana have asked the State and Central Governments to procure paddy from the Rabi season from April 10.

They demanded the State Government to open procurement centres with the help of farmer producer organisations, co-operative societies and Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP).

Representatives of Rythu JAC have met here to discuss the impending problem of procurement. Though farmers have begun harvesting the crop in some parts of the State, there’s no clarity on whether the State Government would start the procurement process in the backdrop of its verbal duel with the Centre.

The State and Central Governments are engaged in a war of words in the last few weeks, with the latter refusing to buy parboiled rice from the rabi season.

The farmers have grown the staple food crop in 35 lakh acres in the ongoing rabi season as against 55 lakh acres in the same season last year after the Centre refusing to buy the rabi rice, citing overflowing of stocks.

Other demands

Releasing a set of demands on Thursday, the JAC wanted the State government to take measures to further reduce the paddy area in the 2022-23 rabi season. They also wanted the government to come out with a strategy to promote alternative crops in order to discourage farmers from sowing paddy in the summer season.

“Farmers have got nothing do with rice. The onus is on the government to procure paddy and hand over rice to the Food Corporation of India. You can’t punish them, if you get less rice in rabi (because of higher percentage of broken rice in milling),” Pasya Padma, a leader of Telangana State Rythu Sangham, said.