Agri Business

Telangana Govt agrees to procure jowar after activists file PIL in HC

BL Hyderabad Bureau | Updated on: Jun 23, 2022

Growers had shifted to the coarse cereal from paddy after Centre expressed its inability to procure parboiled rice

The Telangana government has agreed to procure jowar at the minimum support price (MSP) of ₹2,738 a quintal, bowing to pressure from farmers.  

The government’s decision comes on the heels of the Telangana High Court issuing a notice to it after admitting a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Rythu Swarajya Vedika.

S Borranna, an activist of the association, moved the court, seeking a direction to the government to procure the coarse cereal. 

Par-boiled rice row

“This is a major victory for the farmers of Telangana. Rythu Swarajya Vedika has been campaigning for jowar procurement in Adilabad district and has organised multiple protests by farmers since May,” an RSV leader said.

The association alleged that several farmers had shifted to jowar following the State Government’s advice to the farmers to shift to non-paddy crops in view of the Centre’s inability to procure parboiled rice. The Centre said it would not be able to procure parboiled rice as it has stocks for over 3-4 years, while its consumption was less.

“But farmers are being forced to sell the produce at ₹1,500-1,700 a quintal, facing huge losses. What they are getting is far less than the MSP for the crop,” the activist said.

According to the Telangana Agricultural Marketing Department, the modal price (rates at which most trades take place) for jowar is currently ₹1.919 a quintal for the hybrid variety. 

Delayed decision?

The weighted national average modal price for jowar is currently ₹2,866 a quintal. But this is because the rates for white jowar, a premium variety, are high at above ₹3,000. 

In Telangana, jowar was grown on 1.25 lakh acres in the just-concluded rabi season as against the last rabi’s area of 75,000 acres.

The association blamed the State government for not coming forward to procure when the prices were quoted low in the market. “Why did it take 40 days for the government to arrive at a decision to procure jowar,” he wondered.

The association asked the State government to step in early in the future whenever the prices were ruling below the MSP.

Published on June 23, 2022
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