Panchagarh, Jan 3 (UNB)- Despite a bumper production of Aman paddy the poor growers of the region are not getting fair prices of their produce as the local hoarders are controlling the market price.
Due to delay in launching government procurement drive local middlemen and hoarders are forcing the poor growers to sell their paddy at throwaway prices, which is much lower than the government rate.
At present a maund of paddy is being sold in the market between Tk 200 and Tk 240 against its government rate of Tk 320.
Some growers at the big hats in the district complained that due to the pressure from the middlemen and hoarders and absence of government procurement drive they are forced to sell their paddy below the cost of production.
When contacted district Food Controller Santosh Kumar Pundit told UNB that the government has taken up a program to procure 2,385 mts of paddy and 4064 mts of rice this year at the rate of Tk 320 and Tk 500 respectively.
The Deputy Director of District Agriculture Extension Department said the farmers produced over 1.99 lakh mts of paddy this year cultivating over 1.05 lakh hectares of land.
Some farmers said that they were compelled to sell their paddy at lower prices to repay the loan taken from the moneylenders and meet their day to day expenses. They said the objective of the procurement drive will completely fail as the middlemen and hoarders are busy purchasing paddy at nominal prices.
Last year procurement drive started on November 1 but this year it could not be started after the expiry of the month of December, they said.