By Our Correspondent Dhangadhi, Nov. 23: Farmers of Kailali have been facing problems to sell the paddy. They are unable to sell their paddy saved from the floods as private buyers are reluctant to purchase the paddy showing the cause of poor quality. Farmer Gangaram Chaudhary of Bhajani Municipality-2 said that the traders were sending the paddy back after seeing it.
"Most of the paddy traders are sending it back without buying it," he said. "Even if they agree to buy they refuse to pay reasonable price. They are hardly paying Rs. 1,000 per quintal.” Due to unseasonal rains that occurred in mid-October when the farmers were harvesting the paddy, the crop was damaged. The floods that came after the rains submerged the paddy crops of many farmers.
The paddy that was not washed away by the flood was soaked and germinated in the field. Private buyers are unwilling to buy farmers' produce this year as the paddy crop has not been good due to rains and floods. Farmer Chaudhary said that the paddy produced by the farmers with a lot of investment and hard work had turned worthless.
The government had fixed the minimum support price at Rs. 2,752 per quintal for coarse paddy and Rs. 2,903 per quintal for medium variety paddy this year. However, farmers are not getting any buyer to sell their produce, even if they are ready to sell it at cheaper rates. Traders in the district are buying some quantity of dried and slightly better paddy. However, they said that it was difficult to buy all the paddy.
Entrepreneur Chetram Chaudhary, who has been buying a huge amount of paddy in Dhangadhi for years, said that they cannot buy all paddy grown by the farmers this year. "I am buying paddy from some farmers this year only because of personal connections," he said. “Otherwise, it is not possible to buy the paddy," said Chaudhary.
"We will also sell paddy to mills after purchasing from the farmers," he added. "However, the mills have not agreed to buy the paddy this year. If the mill operators do not buy, then we also do not benefit from buying.” Buyers are mostly buying paddy at Rs. 1,000 or Rs. 1,200 per quintal this year. They, however, said that they were buying dry and slightly better paddy for up to Rs. 2,100 per quintal.
While traders are refusing to buy paddy from the farmers, the state-owned enterprise, Food Management and Trading Company (FMTC) is also delaying the purchase of paddy this year. Farmers are in panic after the company delayed purchasing the paddy. They are in trouble as their produce is not being sold as they used to collect seeds and fertilisers required for winter crops by selling the paddy.
Angela Basnet, chief of Food Management and Trading Company, Dhangadhi, said that they have not been able to purchase paddy till now as no circular had been received from central office and management. "The circular will probably come in a week," she said. "After receiving the circular, we will move ahead to start the purchase of paddy."
As the direction from central management has set the criteria for purchasing quality paddy, only the paddy of good quality that falls within the criteria will be procured, she said. "We have quality technicians. We will check the quality and procure the paddy within the limit of support price,” she added. "However, low quality paddy should not be bought even at a reduced price. Because we have to buy good paddy and produce quality rice.