Farmers are compelled to unload their produce of paddy and basmati on the roads connected to the Bathinda.

Increase in the produce of basmati this season has led to space problems in the grain market. Only nine acres area is designated for loading and unloading of crops out of 72-acre Bathinda grain market, the rest of the area under shops and offices.

As the Farmers have to unload their produce on the roads, they harassed and are complaining about the lack of space in the grain market.

Due to oversupply of basmati in the market than previous years, it is taking more time to clear the space for new arrival.

A farmer Harjeet Singh, from Tungawali, said, “We had to unload the produce from the tractor on the road because we did not get any space in the mandi. Waiting for someone else’s paddy to get lifted would have delayed the whole process.”

This time it is approximately 2,000 MT whereas last season, the approximate yield of basmati was 600 metric ton (MT). Basmati is not a minimum selling price crop and therefore, farmers have to wait for buyers to clear their produce.

However, mandi officials claim more than half of the mandi is unoccupied. Harpiyar Singh Brar, Bathinda mandi official said, “There is no problem. More than half of the mandi is empty and farmers can unload their crop anywhere they want.”

Stray animals destroy crops as the roads directing towards grain market are stocked with paddy on both sides.

Rajwinder Singh, a farmer said, “The merchants are not interested in buying the crop, even at low rates. We have to beg them to ask them to buy our crop, otherwise they do not even look at us.”

He added, “There are other grain markets, such as Amritsar and Kuktsar, where the farmers are getting the right price for their produce. However, Bathinda being the area of the chief minister gets nothing.”

“Two years ago, the price of basmati was `3,200 per quintal while last year, the rates were `4,200 per quintal. We were happy with the increased rates, however this time, the rates are worse than ever at `2,200 per quintal” said Gurdit Singh, a farmer from Tunagawli village.

He also stated that “The product we sell at about `20 per kg, the private firms will sell the same, after packing in attractive bags, at more than `100 per kg. After paying the middle man and making other expenses, we get nothing.”

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