Direct sale of wheat, farmers are falling into the trap to do away with the Mandis, adrifting from the line of protest of 2021




If the central government had not legislated the three anti farmers bills, which were later on repealed after nationwide two years of protest, the private players could easily occupy the space they intended to grab.

Such is almost happening though on a small scale.

Some of the farmers allegedly chose to sell their wheat produce directly at the flour mills, for some petty gains.Produce is sold immediately.

But it is setting a precedent.

“I have sold the wheat crop of my 40 acres of land at two flour mills.One is owned by my ahartias and the other was which I approached myself. The latter offered me more than the MSP without any cut of moisture or anything else. The other was owned by my commission agents.  They told me to unload my wheat produce at the mill directly,” said a farmer from Wara Daraka village of Faridkot district.

However, the farmer was defenseless on being asked about the continuation of mandias this way in coming years.

“They give us the J forms and everything is right,” he said.

But if bypassing the loading of produce in the premises of the grain market  would not hit the market, he is struggling for words to answer.

The farmer claims that his crop yielded above 60 Mans per acre.

“We had harvested our crop yesterday and we unloaded it at a local flour mill. I asked my brother that we should sell our crop at the private mill because the crop had weed seeds and there was no cut. They did not ask for its cleaning and we rather got Rs 15 per quintal more than the MSP,” said another farmer from village Devi Wala.

This reporter called up his commission agent to sell his produce, but as he had shut down his business, he suggested he sell his produce at a local flour mill, instead of offering him that he should engage some other firm to sell his crop.

“There are at least four to five wheat flour mills around Kotkapura.They are attracting the customers right now as there is almost shortage of wheat now. But there are many doubts. Whether their weighing scales are fully accurate and if in the years to come, more farmers start coming to them, would they adhere to the MSP? Questions Sukhdeep Singh, an accountant to a CA.

“There is a possibility of tampering with the weighing scale. If the scale is set to read only 50 grams less per 5 kg, the farmers may face a loss of 1 kg per quintal. Reading the moisture meter is also within the limits of the private mills. When the farmer enters his trolley load of produce, everything is with the private mill,” says Sukhdeep Singh.

Gurdev Singh, a farmer from village Bir Sikhan Wala village, lays emphasis on the need of ahartia.”They buy wheat only, but who would buy the paddy. If we need money and we sell our wheat outside the grain market bypassing commission agents, who will lend us? He asks.

“There are many problems if the farmers go in for the direct sale of wheat produce bypassing the grain market and us. First of all, the farmers and the commission agents are complementary  to each other and there is a circle of lending and borrowing. It would disrupt and our money lent to the farmer may get at stake. Then there is the interest of the labour engaged in the grain market. If the produce is unloaded outside the grain market, the labour would be hit hard. The commission agent may not get his commission. The accountants may not get work and eventually, the whole system, which provides employment to the lakhs of the people directly or indirectly would collapse,” said Ashok Kumar Goel, president of Ahartia Association Kotkapura when pointed about the ongoing trend.

When contacted Jagjeet Singh Dallewal, state president BKU Sihupur- Ekta said, "I am now aware of the ongoing situation.”The millers can stock the produce, they can buy the produce from the grain market, but they are not a designated purchase centre for produce. we already have opposed it,” he said.

The sources said that some of the commission agents are promoting this system also.

“The millers give us a J form and payment is made within 7 days. If one want instant payment, they deduct Rs 500 per lakh and payment is made immediately to the farmer,’ said a farmer who sold his crop to a mill.

Apr 24 2024 1:58AM