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Bagmara farmers not interested in selling paddy to govt godown

Published : Thursday, 24 June, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 430

The photo shows paddy being sold in a wholesale market at Bagmara.	photo: observer

The photo shows paddy being sold in a wholesale market at Bagmara. photo: observer

RAJSHAHI, June 23: Farmers in Bagmara Upazila of the district are not showing interest to sell paddy to government godowns.
According to field sources, the upazila food godown authority is not getting optimistic response from the farmers.
There is a very little pricing difference between the market rate and the official rate. Due to this reason as well as selling-level hassle, the farmers' interest has got hung up. In fact, farmers are passing their produce to the market to avoid extra complication.
Two years back, farmers had thronged in front of government godowns when the official procurement rate was higher than the market rate.
Recently, Upazila Food Department has fallen in disarray due to failure in the collection of paddy.
The official procurement of Boro paddy was inaugurated in the upazila on March 5 by local MP Enamul Haq over mobile phone. The collection target has been fixed at 2,800 metric tons (MT). The procurement rate has been fixed at Tk 1,080 per maund.
Upazila Agriculture Office has made a list of 63,500 paddy farmers in the upazila and sent it to the Food Department. The agriculture division communicated this information to farmers and requested them to supply paddy.
Till June 17, 101 farmers have responded to the call for selling paddy. The Food Division could have procured only 300 MT of paddy from them in the last three and half months. The rest of the listed farmers are not showing interest to give paddy. The government has given instruction of procuring 2,800 MT paddy within August 16.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Rajibur Rahman said, card-holding farmers are not selling paddy to the government. It is frustrating, he added.
While talking with this correspondent of The Daily Observer, farmers, traders and local officials of Food Division said, this year paddy is directly being taken to bazaars, instead of government godowns.
The higher official rate in the last year had prompted farmers to sell paddy to the government, they added.
To tackle huge response from farmers, raffle draw was introduced.
In the last week, per maund paddy was selling at Tk 980-990 in different bazaars in the upazila including Bhabaniganj Haat, Taherpur Haat, Hamirkutsa Haat and Shikdari Haat. Though the price-per-maund has declined by Tk 80-90, farmers are getting it comfort to avoid godown-based orchestration of hassle, it was learnt.
Farmer Jeher Ali of Kalikapur, Idris Ali of Madhupur, Sohrab Hossain and Delwar Hossain of Ramrama, and Ismail Hossain of Dewlar said, there are selling paddy in haats to avoid hassle. One year back, they had sold paddy to godowns. This year they are not giving paddy to government godowns as market price and government price is almost the same.
They voiced about hassles like moisture measurement, quality justifying, bank account-based payment and rounding to godowns. The same allegation was made by over 100 farmers.
Upazila Food Inspector and Acting Officer Abdur Razzak said, it is government norm not harassment in making procurement. The present market price is almost same to that of the government procurement rate. That is why farmers are not responding to their urge, he added. He expressed his doubt about achieving the target.
Upazila Paddy Procurement Committee President UNO Sharif Ahmed termed the procurement as still frustrating.

Necessary step will be taken after meeting with committee members to achieve the target, he informed.

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