TS HC asks govt to respond to petition seeking urgent procurement of jowar

In the PIL, the petitioners said the jowar farmers are suffering because they are being forced to sell their yield at throwaway prices due to the government's delay in procurement.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  21 Jun 2022 1:57 PM GMT
TS HC asks govt to respond to petition seeking urgent procurement of jowar

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on 21 June issued a notice to the state government asking it to respond to the petition seeking urgent procurement of jowar.

The court was hearing a petition filed by S. Boranna, a jowar farmer from Adilabad, and the Rythu Swarajya Vedika, an NGO working on farmers' rights in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, on 14 June urging the government to start procuring jowar from farmers.

In the PIL, the petitioners said the jowar farmers are suffering because they are being forced to sell their yield at throwaway prices due to the government's delay in procurement. The government had announced an MSP of Rs. 2,738 per quintal for jowar this year but the market price still looms at around Rs. 1,200-1,800 per quintal due to the delay in government intervention. RSV members said the deficit of more than Rs. 1,000 per quintal, compared to the MSP, means the farmers are facing severe financial losses and becoming indebted.

The petitioners had also submitted to the court the revised guidelines of December 2021 under the National Food Security Act which provide for the states to procure millets such as jowar under the Central pool for FCI as well as for use in the food security schemes such as ICDS and mid-day meal scheme. Despite this, the state government has not come up with a consistent plan for the procurement of jowar.

Meanwhile, farmers in Adilabad have been holding protests demanding MSP procurement for jowar. According to the data by RSV, in Adilabad alone jowar has been grown on 31,346 acres in Rabi 2021-22. It is also important to remember that the total extent of jowar cultivation in the state is more than one lakh acres this year due to the increase in other districts such as Asifabad, Kamareddy, Vikarabad, and Sangareddy because of state government's emphasis on shift from paddy to other crops during this Rabi season.

"We urge the Telangana government to respond quickly to the dire situation by initiating procurement at MSP. Based on the request of the Chief Minister, lakhs of farmers have shifted from paddy to alternative crops during the Rabi season, and this shift to a diverse cropping system will be sustained only if the government is able to ensure MSP for alternative crops too," said RSV in a press release.

In 2021, too, there was a delay in the procurement of jowar. Initially, state agriculture minister Singireddy Noranjanreddy had said the government will not procure jowar that year citing the Union government's farm laws. It was only after farmers' protests across Telangana, a PIL filed by RSV, and the High Court order that the state agreed to procure. The government, therafter, procured 1,81,453 quintals of jowar last year.

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