HYDERABAD: The State government will take a decision on opening paddy purchasing centres for the Rabi crop season only after the Centre’s stand on procurement of parboiled rice is thoroughly exposed.
If the Centre does not concede the demand, the State Cabinet will meet and take a decision whether to open paddy purchase centres or not. Indications are that the State government may open purchasing centres for Rabi season in order to bail out farmers.
“As long as Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is alive, Telangana farmers will not suffer any loss,” Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar asserted on Saturday, without giving clarity whether the State government would purchase the Rabi paddy or not.
The Minister said that the St-ate government’s strategy over Rabi paddy would be announced at an appropriate time, only after the Cabinet discusses it.
Telangana farmers have raised paddy in around 35 lakh acres and around 55 lakh tonnes of rice is expected to be harvested in the present Rabi season.
In 2021 Rabi, farmers raised paddy in 52.28 lakh acres, but this was reduced to 35.84 lakh acres this year after the State government discouraged them not to go for paddy this Rabi.
Clarity on the paddy to be procured, after local consumption, would emerge only after the State government receives the final estimates of Rabi paddy arrivals.
Till then, the TRS is determined to keep up the pressure on the Centre to procure the entire paddy produced in the State. If the Centre does not come forward to procure the parboiled rice, the State government would then take a decision on how to help farmers.
If there is no demand for parboiled rice, the State government may incur losses by purchasing the paddy. Around five lakh tonnes of rice of previous years is lying with the State government, as the Centre did not procure it as per the agreement.
Keeping up pressure for farmers’ benefit
Till such time the Rabi paddy starts to reach the markets, the TRS will organise protests against the Union government to expose its indifference to the sufferings of Telangana farmers. The State government announced before the commencement of the season that it would not open the paddy purchasing centres and would not buy a single grain from farmers sown in this Rabi season.