Kota: Even though registration for purchase of paddy under minimum support price has started, disappointment awaits more than 90 per cent of the farmers in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts because red paddy is not allowed under the scheme as per the current norms. Farmers in the coastal districts can benefit only if changes are brought in quickly.
After a lot of struggles, farmers’ registration for paddy procurement has started at minimum support prices in the state including undivided Dakshina Kannada district. But, farmers in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada district, grow the MO4 variety red rice which is cannot be registered for MSP. Hence, these farmers are not allowed to register.
Last season, 2000 quintals of paddy seed was sown through the agriculture department in the Udupi district. Of this, 1,700 quintals of MO4 variety. In Dakshina Kannada, of the 598 quintals seed sold by the department, 418 quintals were MO4. The same variety is mostly sold in private seed markets too.
However, the notifications issued by the district collectors for the commencement of support price registration in the two districts, red rice is not mentioned. The notifications have ordered the purchase of common paddy at Rs 1,940 and Rs 1,960 per quintal of common paddy and A-grade paddy respectively. It is also mentioned that registration for red rice would be started only after government guidelines are received on the matter.
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Farmers in both districts will not benefit from the support price purchase centre if the purchase of red paddy is not approved. The authorities and people’s representatives need to act immediately to rectify the situation.
Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Corporation official Kiran Kodgi clarified that the attention of the government has been drawn towards the inability to purchase red paddy at support prices. A request has been submitted to the centre about the same. “Orders are expected to be passed from the centre soon. So MO4 paddy farmers who want to sell paddy at the support price to the centre can wait for some time,” he said.