Basmati growers in Punjab have accused traders of lowering crop prices by forming a cartel, prompting the state authority Punjab Mandi Board to issue strict directions to its district officials to ensure proper auctioning of crop to prevent growers' explo
Basmati growers in Punjab have accused traders of lowering crop prices by forming a cartel, prompting the state authority Punjab Mandi Board to issue strict directions to its district officials to ensure proper auctioning of crop to prevent growers' exploitation, according to a PTI report.
Further, reports pouring from grain markets of Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Amritsar said that prices of basmati crop fell sharply in past few days to Rs 2,100-2,200 per quintal from Rs 2,800-3,000 per quintal.
"We have received reports from farmers in Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Amritsar that some traders have formed a cartel with an ill-intention of bringing down the prices of basmati crop in the state," an official of Punjab Mandi Board (Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board) told PTI today.
He said farmers had complained that some traders were not allowing farmers to get adequate prices under the garb of crop's "oversupply".
Taking cognisance of reports indicating lower prices, Punjab Mandi Board Chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal in a statement here today issued strict instructions to Mandi officers at district grain markets, saying that traders must not buy basmati crop at "lower" rates and ensure open auctioning of crop so that basmati growers should get adequate rates for their crop.
However, Lakhowal noted that a few traders were trying to lower the prices of basmati crop by forming a group.
Lakhowal even appealed to traders and rice shellers not to bring down prices of basmati as farmers had toiled hard this kharif season to save crop in the wake of deficient rains.
"If this season, a basmati grower faces any financial loss in the crop, then he will be discouraged to sow this crop which requires less water," he said.
Punjab Mandi Board Chairman further said in the global market, basmati crop is fetching good prices in view of its growing demand. "Therefore, basmati growers should be paid fair prices of their crop," he said.
Notably, Basmati crop is likely to fetch 25-30 per cent lower prices as against previous season's rates on account of higher output expected this season, as per traders.
They have said the rate of basmati paddy such as PUSA 1121 and 1509 varieties could hover around Rs 2,500 per quintal this year as against Rs 3,500-4,000 per quintal ruled last year.
With the Punjab government emphasising on crop diversification programme, area under basmati crop surged by 55 per cent to 8.62 lakh hectares this year.
With around 30 per cent of total paddy area being under basmati , its output is expected to reach 34 lakh tonnes as against 22.65 lakh tonnes recorded last season.Besides, Punjab and Haryana contribute 60-70 per cent of country's basmati production.
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