Govt. paddy purchasing criteria are ‘favoring private vendors’

Govt. paddy purchasing criteria are ‘favoring private vendors’

Govt. paddy purchasing criteria are ‘favoring private vendors’

Written by Staff Writer

10 Mar, 2015 | 7:54 am

Agrarian societies point out that due to government refusing to purchase paddy citing wet conditions, they have been unable to obtain a proper price for their paddy produce.

National Organizer of All Island Farmers’ Federation Namal Karunaratne says that due to this reason private vendors are able to obtain their produce at a lower rate.

[quote] We are not against government official checking for 17 percent wetness in paddy when purchasing. However, the farmer has no mechanism to remove this wetness in paddy. Even government doesn’t have machines to dry paddy. Under these circumstances, the paddy produce of the farmer is rejected. Then what happens is the intermediary vendors purchase the paddy for a lower rate, and then they sell the paddy under various names to the government paddy storage facility. Amazingly the paddy that was not dry in the morning is dry by afternoon. All this is decided on the commission. As a result, the farmer is not done justice. If the government has a stipulated price, why can’t they legalize it? If the price is legalized, even if the government do not purchase it the paddy will not be purchased by anyone at a lower rate.[/quote]

Meanwhile Minister of Food Security Gamini Jayawickreme Perera states the following:

[quote]We cannot purchase paddy that is wet. If we store wet paddy it will be of no use to anyone and it will be a waste. Private vendors purchase it at a lower rate. In order to solve this problem, we need to increase the number of mills. As the paddy marketing board we cannot purchase wet paddy.[/quote]

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