KANNUR: AS the scorching sun beats down with a vengeance, everybody looks to the sky, hoping for a drop of water. But not V V Pradeep Kumar. The 50-year-old farmer from Kappadu looks at the sky with anxiety when dark clouds gather and there are signs of a summer shower. The reason is quite simple. Nearly 6,500 kg of paddy harvested this year have been heaped in sacks in front of his house. And they have been lying there for a month. Supplyco, which is supposed to collect the paddy, is yet to pay him a visit. Kumar had pleaded with the authorities more than once, saying that if the stock is not cleared from the place, his efforts in the paddy fields will be wasted.
“I have been in this business since childhood. For the past six seven years, I have been toiling in this paddy field with passion. Everything has been going well till last month. The harvest is good this year too. The harvested paddy was filled in sacks and heaped in front of my house for more than 30 days,” he said. “I have seen the vehicles of Supplyco passing through the panchayat many times. But, when I contacted them, the officials kept stalling. We will come tomorrow, they say. But, the days are passing by and if rain falls, things will become difficult for me.” When Express contacted Chelora Krishi Bhavan, with the help of whom paddy farming was done in the region, officials said there might be some delay due to technical reasons like availability of vehicles, staff or the selection of the region from which the stock should be collected, etc. “If farmers want Supplyco to pick up their stock, they should register online.
We helped Pradeep submit an online application and he got his registration number,” said Chelora Krishi Bhavan agricultural assistant Suresh. Added P K Rajesh, Supplyco paddy marketing assistant who is in charge of the operations in the region, “I have discussed the matter with Pradeep over phone and ensured him that his lot will be taken according to the priority list. His paddy is piled in front of his house. That comes to about 6,000 kg. But, there are 25 tonnes of paddy piled in the fields of people who had registered before him. But, we know he is having problems with piles of sacks in front of his house. Once the holidays are over, the staff shortage problem will be resolved. We hope that the problem will be resolved before the next week itself.” But, Kumar is unconvinced. He said Supplyco had cleared the stock of people who had registered after him. “Everybody is speaking about protecting agriculture and farmers. My entire family is with me during farming. But, if my son keeps away from farming seeing these types of bureaucratic hassles, who can blame him?” he asked.