Farmers in UP see silver lining in pandemic cloud

Ramtapasya Singh at his fields in Chandauli. UP farmers are holding on to their harvest expecting higher price…Read More

CHANDAULI (UP): “My harvest is done but I havent yet sold my wheat as the market trend shows a possibility of higher prices later,” says Mahendra Pratap alias Ramtapasya Singh, a farmer in Baburi of Chandauli, now Deen Dayal Upadhyay Nagar.
With 60 acres, Singh is a big farmer here in UPs grain belt, but even those with smaller landholdings are playing wait-and-watch, expecting the market price to exceed the governments minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,925/quintal. “Even now, traders are lifting wheat from farmers doorstep for Rs 1,900,” Singh says, pointing out that the price is effectively higher than the MSP because of savings on cartage. He adds that farmers expect the price to go past Rs 2,300 per quintal — about 20% more than the MSP — as the state distributes record quantities of free foodgrains.
Although the lockdown started on March 25, at the height of the regions harvest season, it benefited UPs farmers. “We were worried about the crop, but the government never stopped agriculturerelated work,” says Raghav Mishra, another farmer.
Also, closed industries and migrants returning from other states created a glut of cheap labour. “For the first time in years, we had labourers coming to us instead of we pursuing them,” says Singh.
The state government also smoothed the process of procurement, said Pravin Kumar Singh of Hatia village. “When I took my harvest to the local government-run purchase centre, I was issued an online token and paid within a week.” Yet procurement remains well below the UP goverRead More – Source