Alleging irregularities in the purchase of paddy at support price, farmers staged a dharna by unloading a tractor load of paddy on the premises of Deputy Commissioner’s office in Hassan on Wednesday.
The owner of a rice mill identified to purchase paddy at Palya in Alur taluk deducted the weight at the rate of 8 kg per quintal, the protesters alleged.
Kanagal Murthy, a leader of Raitha Sangha, said, “If a farmer loses 8 kg for a quintal, he would be getting ₹200 less per quintal. With this the purpose of fixing the support price for paddy would not be served”.
Deputy Commissioner R.Girish met the protesters and assured them that he would consult the officers and ensure the farmers get the price fixed by the government. Later, he also instructed the Deputy Director of Food and Civil Supplies E. Puttaswamy to visit the procuring centre at Palya to enquire about the allegations.
The district administration has set up six centres to purchase paddy from the growers in the district. The Karnataka Cooperative Marketing Federation procures paddy through rice mills. As many as 12 rice mills have been identified to purchase paddy in the district. The support price fixed for paddy is ₹1,868 per quintal.
Mr. Puttaswamy, Deputy Director of Food and Civil Supplies, told The Hindu, “The rice mill staff at Palya had deducted a few kilos in some bags citing the poor quality of paddy. However, we have resolved the issue.”
The rice mills would procure paddy considering its quality, cleared by the graders, appointed by the Agriculture Department. “The paddy procured has to meet the standards set by the Central Government, which purchases paddy for public distribution,” he said.
The procuring will be done till March 7. As many as 2,575 farmers have registered their names to sell paddy at the support price. The officers are expecting 86,339 quintals of paddy in the district. The rice mills will have to supply 67 kg of rice per quintal of paddy procured from farmers, the officer said.