TIRUCHY: In the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) for 2020 - 2021, a record high procurement of 78,000 metric tonnes of paddy was made from farmers in Tiruchy. The quantity surpassed the previous year's target of 45,000 metric tonnes. Conducive climatic conditions and increased procurement price at DPCs were said to the reasons for the success, which was evident in farmers thronging the DPCs with their produce. The season ended on September 30.
This year, the government had increased the procurement price for both varieties of paddy - from Rs 1,865 per quintal (bold variety) to Rs 1,918 per quintal, and Rs 1,905 per quintal for sanna (fine variety) to Rs 1,958 per quintal. This gravitated farmers towards selling their crops at DPCs instead of the open market.
G Chitrarasu, senior regional manager of Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation, told TNIE, "For the first time, the acreage has increased in all four seasons in a single marketing year. During KMS 2018-2019 33,000 tonnes of paddy were procured. The next year, it increased to 44,000 metric tonnes, which was considered the highest till then. However, the procurement breached the target with a record high of 78,000 metric tonnes." He added that unseasonal rain during Navarai season (January to May) led to an increase in the cultivation area. A total of 10,000 metric tonnes of Navarai paddy was procured, which was unusual during that time.
Comparing the procurement price, Sugumar, who opted to sell paddy at DPCs, said, "Usually we would sell our paddy in the open market anywhere between `850 and 900 per bag of fresh paddy (60 kilos per bag) and Rs 1,200 per bag of 60 kilos for aged paddy. But in DPCs, we were able to sell it for nearly `1,400 per bag for fresh paddy. The open market refused to increase the price and hence I opted for DPCs and encouraged to do so in the next season too." He noted that quick payment at DPCs through online, unlike in open markets, brought great relief to farmers.
A senior agricultural officer said the farmers at large opted for bold varieties over fine varieties this year and because of increase in procurement price a lot of farmers preferred selling their crops in DPCs.
Chitrarasu announced that for the next KMS (2021-2022), which starts from October 1, sanna (fine) variety will be procured at Rs 2,060 and bold (common) variety for Rs 2,015. With the kuruvai season expected to be completed much earlier, more than 15,000 metric tons of paddy is expected to be procured by the end of October itself.