Kathua (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], May 9 (ANI): The farmers of Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district feel relieved and happy to have government-run wheat procurement centres set up in their district where they sell their produce at the minimum support price of Rs 1,957 per quintal.
Speaking to ANI, Bansi Lal, a Kathua farmer said, "I have been visiting these mandis to sell my wheat produce since last year. the facilities are very good. We are getting good rates. We are able to sell our produce at the MSP rate fixed by the government i.e Rs 1,957 per quintal. Outside these mandis wheat is selling at lower prices, at around Rs 1,750 per quintal."
He further said, "These mandis are only source of relief for the farmers because private agencies purchase our produce but at their own rates, on their own terms. They never pay as per the rates fixed by the government, only these mandis do. Farmers of Kathua district are privileged to have these mandis. I would urge the government to open more such mandis in other districts of Jammu and Kashmir. These mandis have proven to be very beneficial for the farmers."
Speaking about these mandis, Angrez Singh, another farmer said, "I had brought 100-150 quintal wheat here. Here in the govt run mandis we are getting very good rates for our produce. the facilities available at these mandis are also good. All farmers are allotted numbers. These mandis are providing us a profit margin of around Rs 150 per quintal. This also serves as a benefit for the next crops we sow. This is a very good initiative by the government."
This is the first time after the introduction of the three new farm laws that seven wheat procurement centres were set up, where farmers are selling their wheat produce at the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the Government of India at Rs 1,975 per quintal, said Chief Agriculture Officer, Kathua, Vijay Kumar Upadhaya.
Upadhaya told ANI, "The Food Corporation of India in association with the Agriculture department of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir started seven fully functional mandis in various locations of Kathua district. To make the process of procurement hassle-free, online registration for farmers was also started. After registration, the farmers took their produce to these mandis. The FCI also ensures payment within 72 hours in the bank account of these farmers."
He further stated that the mandis started functioning even before the farmers began harvesting the wheat crop.
Upadhaya informed that more than 300 farmers have sold their produce so far in these mandis and they now hope to procure nearly 50,000 quintals of wheat.
"The farmers of Kathua district are very glad at the provision of such wheat procurement mandis first time in Kathua district. Otherwise, they sold their produce to private dealers at a lesser price. This also clarified farmers' doubts over MSP after the introduction of farm laws and helped them understand that the government is in favour of the farmers and the laws have no provision of the withdrawal of government mandis," he added. (ANI)