PALAKKAD: Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shobha Karandlaje, has criticised the Kerala government regarding the new paddy procurement process in the state.
The minister emphasised that paddy should be collected from farmers through cooperative societies, then taken to mills for processing into rice, and the price should be paid to the farmers. However, she expressed concern that the Kerala government seems to lack interest in procurement, leading to issues in the distribution of ration and the payment of paddy to farmers.
Minister Karandlaje suggested that if the Kerala government is unwilling to pay for the stored rice, the Union government is prepared to cover the costs of procuring paddy, regardless of the quantity. However, she stressed the need for proper communication on this matter.
The minister also emphasized the importance of accurate records of paddy procurement and payments made to farmers in Kerala.
One of the key challenges identified is the lack of suitable storage facilities in most cooperative societies for storing paddy. Farmers are concerned that these societies may not be able to effectively carry out the paddy procurement project. They pointed out that similar experiments in the past had failed in Kerala, with numerous cases of falsification of accounts and embezzlement.
In response to these concerns, the Union Minister urged the state government to take necessary actions to address issues related to paddy procurement.”