Crop before safety: Evacuation makes farmers worry about harvest
The Punjab government, even amidst heightened tension between India and Pakistan, has made special arrangements for the procurement of paddy sown near the borders, as evacuation of people from these areas has left farmers worried about the fate of their crop.
State Agriculture minister Tota Singh said, “We have made special arrangements for the purchase of paddy crop of farmers (living near border areas). As soon as farmers bring their crop, it will be lifted at once so growers should not worry about their crop.”
The Govt has also decided that release orders will be issued to farmers for taking their crops to rice mills. From the crop procurement set to start 10 per cent of total crop in mandis within next 10 days is anticipated.
The state has set a target to lift 135 lakh metric tonnes of crop for Kharif marketing season with RBI approving Rs 22,000 crore as cash credit limit to the state for purchase.
However, reports pouring from these districts said people living near international borders, who have been asked to vacate their homes, are worried about the fate of their standing paddy crop.
“People, who are living more than 2 or 3 km from the border area, are staying put. Homes in 14 villages located within radius of 1.5 km have been fully vacated so far,” said an official in Ferozeour.
The state government has set up a committee of four ministers including agriculture minister Tota Singh, food and civil supply minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Industries minister Madan Mohan Mittal. The committee will ensure growers living within 10 km from borders do not face any problem in selling their produce, he said.