After completing the first phase of redgram procurement in which the State quota of 16.50 lakh quintals of red-gram is purchased from farmers at a Minimum Support Price of ₹6,000 (including State incentive of ₹450), the State government is going to begin the second phase within a week.
On Friday, R. Venkatesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, said that over 6.69 lakh quintals of redgram was purchased in Kalaburagi district, the major red-gram growing district in the State, from 144 procurement centres established across the district.
“Considering the inconvenience caused to farmers last year, we had doubled the procurement centres this year. 144 centres were established throughout the district. These centres were established in such a way that farmers get a centre within 5-6 kms from their village so that they can sell the crop there itself avoiding the cost of transportation,” he said.
Mr. Kumar said of 1.13 lakh redgram growers who had registered for selling the crop at the centres, around 40,000 sold their crop at MSP. “Kalaburagi district contributes nearly 60% of the total yield in the State. Considering the red-gram cultivated area of 3.25 lakh hectares in the district, we expected the yield between 35 and 40 lakh quintals and submitted a report to the government. However, we could procure only 6.69 lakh quintals thanks to the procurement cap set by the Union government,” he said.
To a question, the officer said that the payment was not yet made to the farmers who had sold their crop in the centres. “I hope that the payment would be made within 10 days. Earlier, funds used to be released to Deputy Commissioners who in turn release it to concerned authorities for making payments to farmers. This time, the middle structure is abolished and payment would be credited directly to farmers’ bank accounts,” he said.