Mill owners agree to temporary truce and paddy supply to start in Kerala on Oct 21 – The New Indian Express

Express press service

PALAKKAD: After a long struggle, private mill owners finally decided to source paddy from farmers in the state from Friday. This follows a meeting chaired by the Minister of Food and Civil Supplies, GR Anil, at the Ernakulam Guest House, which was attended by the Director and General Manager of Supplyco, other officials and members of the office of the Kerala Rice Mill Owners Association (KRMOA).

The KRMOA was represented by its state president KK Karnan and its general secretary Varkey Peter, among others. Varkey Peter told TNIE that the government had heard their demands sympathetically and said that since there were legal issues involved, they would be dealt with in due course.

He said the owners of the mills were informed that since the farmers have no place to store the harvested paddy, it was kept in the open and they would suffer huge losses due to the rain. “Therefore, we have decided to sign a conditional agreement for three months instead of the usual year,” said Peter.

The private mill owners’ decision to procure paddy will bring great relief to the thousands of small, marginal rice farmers in the state. Mill owners will demand huge discounts if the moisture content of the paddy is above the allowable limit of 17%. Also, germinating paddy will not be purchased. Since many farmers do not have a storage place, they will also have to incur losses in this regard. Although the purchase price has not been announced, it is estimated that the paddy will be procured by Supplyco at Rs 28.20 per kilogram and 12 paise per kg would be provided as loading charge, said Muthalamthode Mani, Secretary General of the Desiya Karshaka Sangham.

Every year, factory owners used to delay the supply for almost a month and only start it at the end of September. This is the first time the supply has been delayed until the last week of October, farmers said. Peter said the mill owners’ request to release Rs 15 crore by Supplyco was due as a handling charge for paddy damaged in the 2018 flood.

The government has said that the National Disaster Management Authority will make a decision on this and a meeting will be convened soon in this regard. On the issue of rice yield which was raised to 68% by the court, government officials said they had filed a petition for review and had limits on this issue. Also, at the request of factory owners to increase handling charges, it was decided to call a meeting within a month and make a decision. With the agreement signed three months ago, the fate of the farmers’ second paddy crop will again remain a question mark until these issues are resolved.

PALAKKAD: After a long struggle, private mill owners finally decided to source paddy from farmers in the state from Friday. This follows a meeting chaired by the Minister of Food and Civil Supplies, GR Anil, at the Ernakulam Guest House, which was attended by the Director and General Manager of Supplyco, other officials and members of the office of the Kerala Rice Mill Owners Association (KRMOA). The KRMOA was represented by its state president KK Karnan and its general secretary Varkey Peter, among others. Varkey Peter told TNIE that the government had heard their demands sympathetically and said that since there were legal issues involved, they would be dealt with in due course. He said the owners of the mills were informed that since the farmers have no place to store the harvested paddy, it was kept in the open and they would suffer huge losses due to the rain. “Therefore, we have decided to sign a conditional agreement for three months instead of the usual year,” said Peter. The private mill owners’ decision to procure paddy will bring great relief to the thousands of small, marginal rice farmers in the state. Mill owners will demand huge discounts if the moisture content of the paddy is above the allowable limit of 17%. Also, germinating paddy will not be purchased. Since many farmers do not have a storage place, they will also have to incur losses in this regard. Although the purchase price has not been announced, it is estimated that the paddy will be procured by Supplyco at Rs 28.20 per kilogram and 12 paise per kg would be provided as loading charge, said Muthalamthode Mani, Secretary General of the Desiya Karshaka Sangham. Every year, factory owners used to delay the supply for almost a month and only start it at the end of September. This is the first time the supply has been delayed until the last week of October, farmers said. Peter said the mill owners’ request to release Rs 15 crore by Supplyco was due as a handling charge for paddy damaged in the 2018 flood. The government said the National Land Management Authority Disasters will make a decision on this and that a meeting will soon be convened in this regard. On the issue of rice yield which was raised to 68% by the court, government officials said they had filed a petition for review and had limits on this issue. Also, at the request of factory owners to increase handling charges, it was decided to call a meeting within a month and make a decision. With the agreement signed three months ago, the fate of the farmers’ second paddy crop will again remain a question mark until these issues are resolved.

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