Wheat procurement: Light rain exposes ‘ill-preparedness’ at mandis : The Tribune India

Wheat procurement: Light rain exposes ‘ill-preparedness’ at mandis : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service

Sameer Singh

Bathinda, April 14

Mild rain laid bare the “ill-preparedness” of the mandi board and district administration at grain markets as farmers were left to fend for themselves, arranging sheets to cover their produce.

The lack of sheds at village purchase centres exposed the heaps of wheat to the vagaries of nature.

Farmers claimed the mandi board and district administration failed to make arrangements to protect their “hard-earned grain”. If not sheds, the administration could have arranged tarpaulin sheets to cover the produce, they said.

Farmers are already aggrieved over the shortage of gunny bags and tardy lifting of wheat.

Well-managed, few hiccups

There can be a few hiccups at some purchase centres, but overall things are being well managed. The arhtiyas who get commission for purchase have to ensure that the produce is safe at mandis. — Preet Kanwar Singh Brar, District Mandi officer, Bathinda

Pushpinder Pal, a farmer from Goniana block, said: “Once it started drizzling, I made a helter-skelter dash to my home and brought tarpaulin sheets to cover heaps of wheat lying in the open at the purchase centre. The yield this season is already down by 6-8 per cent and now if the produce gets drenched, procurement agencies will again impose quality cuts.”

The situation is no different in neighbouring district of Mansa. Gora Singh, a farmer from Bhaini Bagha village in Mansa district, said: “It is the responsibility of the authorities to make arrangements at grain markets. Over the years, things have remained the same.”

District Food and Civil Supplies Controller (DFSC) Jaspreet Kahlon said, “The lifting of wheat is in progress across the district. Sometimes, certain problems crop up and the pace of lifting slows down. Now that the arrival of the produce will pick up pace, the authorities will ensure that lifting of produce is expedited.”

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