Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday wrote to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to flag the problems being faced by wheat farmers in selling their produce and demanded that the government should guarantee wheat procurement.
In her letter to Adityanath, the Congress general secretary said there should be a guarantee on procurement of wheat from farmers at procurement centres till July 15.
Gandhi said she is constantly getting information from all the districts of the state that farmers are facing a lot of problems in selling their wheat produce.
“Wheat procurement started from April 1, but due to the Corona pandemic, the purchase centres remained locked. As soon as the farmers’ wheat started reaching the procurement centres, the procurement was reduced to half,” she said.
She added that in states like Punjab and Haryana, the government procurement of wheat accounts for 80-85 per cent of the total production, while in Uttar Pradesh, only 14 per cent of the 378 lakh metric tonnes of wheat produced has been procured by government centres.
Many farmers have not been able to sell their wheat and now due to various government decrees, the officers are reluctant in purchasing wheat from farmers at procurement centres, Gandhi said.
She said that the chief minister had said that all farmers will be extended the facility of wheat procurement, but in many villages the purchasing centres have been closed and farmers are being forced to go to distant ”mandis”.
She also pointed out that it is raining incessantly in many parts of the state and there is a danger of wheat rotting due to moisture.
In such a situation, the farmers will be forced to sell their hard-earned produce at throwaway prices, Gandhi said.
She said that due to the coronavirus pandemic and inflation, the condition of the farmers is already bad and if their crop is not procured or they are forced to sell wheat at throwaway prices, it will “break their backs”.
In her letter, she demanded that there should be a guarantee on procurement of wheat from farmers at purchase centres till July 15 and arrangements should be made at each procurement centre so that farmers do not have to wander to sell their food grains.
There are media reports from many districts that a maximum of 30 or 50 quintals of wheat is being purchased from a farmer at a time, which is a cause of worry for them, Gandhi said, and demanded that maximum purchase should be made from farmers.