Haryana farmers may pay a heavy price if forced to delay wheat harvest

The Haryana federal government on Thursday wrote to the Centre, trying to find acceptance to start wheat procurement this 12 months from April 20, instead of April 1, and to carry it out in a staggered manner. This comes in the backdrop of a nationwide lock-down to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

To incentivise farmers to hold off the harvest, the Point out federal government would like to give ₹50/quintal for arrivals that occur amongst May six and May 31 and ₹125/quintal for arrivals amongst June 1 and June thirty. While it is a neat approach on paper, it has left farmers panicking.

By delaying the harvest, farmers will have to leave the standing crop at the mercy of the weather. Currently, due to the fact Thursday, there have been rains in a lot of components of Haryana. If this continues, the wheat crop might be fully ruined. Last 12 months, all of the State’s wheat crop was harvested by April 27-28.

Farm hearth fears

The other worry is farm hearth. Vikas Chaudhary, a wheat farmer from Karnal, told BusinessLine: “Wheat crops fully dry up as summer season starts. They very easily catch hearth when the bearing of the harvester gets hot and controlling the hearth gets challenging with substantial velocity winds.”

Last 12 months, about 200 acres of wheat crop in a dozen of villages throughout Karnal and Kaithal districts had been ruined by hearth, per media reviews. Wheat crop spread more than about 400 acres and stubble more than nearly 800 acres in the Madlauda and Sanoli blocks of Panipat district had been also ruined by hearth, said a Tribune India report on April 27.

A lot of farmers in the Point out do not have storage house at home or industry for their crops. As per federal government info, more than sixty five per cent of holdings in Haryana are little and marginal, with the sizing of keeping considerably less than 2 hectare.

Go to gain brokers

While incentives have been announced for farmers to hold off the harvest, it looks like the real beneficiaries will only be the arthiyas — the fee brokers. Contrary to elsewhere in the nation, in Haryana, even the government’s MSP procurement comes about only by way of the fee agent community.

The agent gets jute bags to procure wheat from farmers as the procurement season opens. But it is his want when he difficulties the ‘I form’ to the federal government — in April, May or June. He can also pocket the incentive presented by the federal government to the farmer.

“Usually, the fee brokers are presented jute bori (jute bags) on the day the procurement starts,” said a farmer from Palwal who did not want to be named. “They just take the harvest from us more than the future 10-15 times and give us the ‘J form’ (that has details of the generate taken from the farmer and MSP paid) anytime they please. While the MSP rate is published on the kind, the fee agent decides what he would like to give us. Compact farmers like me just can’t query them.” (The J kind is issued to the farmers although the I kind is issued to the federal government by the brokers.)

BusinessLine had highlighted the problem of little farmers in Haryana in an article titled ‘For Haryana’s farmers, MSP is only an illusion’ last November, when this author had frequented Karnal. In a Point out exactly where farmers get cheated on the MSP by itself, what does an increment (incentive) in the procurement price imply at all?

Only answer

The only answer in hand is to open the mandis by the ordinary dates and guarantee hygiene and social distancing. If the standing or harvested crop is ruined by hearth or rain and humidity, it will be a even larger problem for the Point out to cope with.

Also, it requires to be ensured that staff and labourers from Bihar and other areas who occur to Haryana in the course of harvest time to just take up packaging, loading and unloading perform at mandis, are ready to arrive at the Point out on time. Else, the Point out federal government has to make choice arrangements at the mandis.

The problem with provide of combine harvesters really should also be addressed, say farmers. A very good variety of these equipment go from Punjab and Haryana by way of road to Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat for harvest and then occur all the way to Haryana by the 1st week of April. The hurdles on transit via nationwide highways because of to the lock-down might create delays in these equipment reaching Haryana. Farmers worry that this will also hold off their harvest, growing the danger of crop spoilage by hearth or rain and humidity.