Ferozepur, November 1, 2012: The antipathy of Central government is that the farmers of Punjab have become the victim of loans from commission agents and banks and moving towards committing suicides.
The land is the mother of the farmer but 40 per cent small farmers are selling their mother like land. In case the situation like this continues, the day is not far when 30-40 per cent small and middle class farmers, would take a permanent break from the agriculture farming, said Hans Raj a partisan of farmers.
The prices of agriculture in-puts and implements have increase more than 50 per cent in the last five years but it has become a mockery with the increase in the produce of the farmers is only Rs.40-50 per qtl.
In the Punjab mandis, there is a flood of Parmal A class and Basmati 1121 paddy in the grain markets but the procuring agencies are reluctant to purchase this quality and the farmers are being exploited by the private traders by purchasing at the rate of Rs.950 to Rs.1000 and farmers are being deprived of Rs.300 per qtl. The paddy Basmati 1121 variety is in great demand in foreign countries and during the months of April-May, the rice of this brand had fetched the rate Rs.7000 per qtl but now the international market value is between Rs.4500 to Rs.5000 per qtl. Few days back, 1121 basmati variety paddy had been sold at Rs.2000 to Rs.2100 but with the arrival of produce in the Fazilka, Jalalabad, Guruahrsahai, Amritsar and Patiala mandis, the prices have gone down.
According to the agriculture experts, 1121 basmati is such a variety, sowing of which is done 30 days late than the normal variety and also helps in going down the water level. About 4-5 years back, the price of this variety was Rs.2500 to Rs.4200 per qtl and farmers had a great relief but for the last three-four years the farmers are being looted by paying just Rs.1600 to Rs,2000 per qtl.
As per the sources, about 10 to 12 big entrepreneurs of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi , are holding the business of entire basmati, who are first looting the farmers and then the rice mill owners by purchasing at the low rate. The business tactics of businessmen have not been understood by the farmers but it is presumed that the variety of 1121 basmati will be invisible in Punjab and Haryana because the official price of A class paddy is Rs.1300 per qtl. marketing of which is easily available and this has a yield of 30 to 32 qtl. per acre as compared to 16 to 20 qtl of 1121 basmati.
The business of rice mill industry has gone manifold with the production of 1121 basmati which has demand in the international market but in case its sowing is stopped by the farmers, the rice mills will only be able to do the custom milling on government paddy stocks.
Master Hans Raj, despite being an educationist keeping fearless views about the farmer’s community, said, in case the center government fix up Rs.2500 per qtl the minimum price of 1121 basmati variety paddy, the farmers community will be benefited to great extent who are moving towards committing suicides.
Regarding the pool of the traders, he said, it is necessary to keep alive the hen to eat eggs and in case traders remained adamant for procuring the 1121 basmati at low price, the condition rice sheller trade is likely to be worst than the farmers.