Kerala farmers yet to receive payments for procured paddy, protests erupt

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Representational Image | Photo: PTI

Edappal: Kerala farmers are still awaiting payment for the paddy procured by Supplyco during the previous season. The government procured paddy from farmers at Rs 28.32 per kilogram.

Prior years, once the procurement account was provided to nationalised banks and Supplyco gave approval, the money was promptly transferred to farmers' accounts. Although the farmers received payment, the government failed to transfer the amount to the banks, leading to a crisis. Responsibility for payment was shifted to Kerala Bank earlier this year, but they initially disbursed only a partial amount and then halted payments altogether.

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As of now, Supplyco distributes the amount provided by the bank consortium. Since March 23, no payments have been made.

A significant amount is due to approximately 4,000 farmers in the Ponnani region. On average, a farmer cultivating one acre of land can expect to receive around Rs 3 lakh for a yield of up to 2,500 kilograms of paddy. Some farmers in the region cultivate up to 20 acres.

An outstanding amount of Rs 1097,71,86,900 is pending for paddy collected during the 2022-23 season across the state. A total of 63,78,54,350 kilogram of paddy were collected during this season, for which Rs 708,68,48,291 has been paid.

Farmers have resorted to strikes in several parts of the state to protest against the non-payment of storage prices for the procured paddy.

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