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Harish to take up red gram issue with Centre again

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Hyderabad: Minister for Irrigation and Marketing T Harish Rao said on Tuesday that red gram farmers in the State were getting restive as the Centre had failed to ensure a fair deal to them.

Reviewing the red gram procurement situation in the State along with Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Harish said the issue would be taken up once again with the Centre on February 15. Both the Ministers voiced concern over the fate of farmers who could not sell their stocks so far.

The Centre had decided to procure only 75,300 tonnes of red gram in the State. Both the Centre and the State agencies, as part of the market intervention measures, had purchased some 1.70 lakh tonnes so far. Another 1.5 lakh tonnes of red gram is still with the farmers and the arrivals in the yards soon will only add to these. Unless the Centre comes forward to procure maximum quantity, the growers will be left in the lurch.

The two Ministers were disappointed over the Centre’s lack of concern for the farmers of the State. The State had written to the Union Minister for Agriculture seeking support for procurement of red gram stocks.

The issue was taken up with the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution seeking procurement support to the red gram. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao also wrote to the Centre seeking procurement of at least 2 lakh tonnes. But the Centre did not respond.

The Ministers wanted the Centre to review the red gram procurement and consider relaxation in the procurement cap.

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