Farmers left in lurch as centre completes corn buying target

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Aurangabad, Feb 4 (PTI) After completing its target of buying corn, the marketing federation at Vaijapur taluka in Aurangabad district has stopped procurement, leaving in the lurch farmers who had registered online to sell their produce at the local collection centre.

Tehsildar Rahul Gaikwad on Thursday said the taluka in central Maharashtra was given a target of procuring 18,000 quintals of corn this year.

'We have completed the target and we dont have authority to buy more produce than the allotted target,' he said.

As many as 69 tractors laden with corn are currently parked outside the procurement centre and they belong to farmers who had registered online for selling their farm produce, former MLA Bhausaheb Patil Chikatgaonkar claimed while talking to PTI.

The former MLA met district collector Sunil Chavan and urged him to give relief to farmers who are in the queue to sell their produce.

'Farmers have registered online to sell corn at Ghaygaon centre which is managed by the co-operative department. They reached the centre on the given date, yet their farm produce has not been bought,' Chikatgaonkar said.

'We have come to know that the target given to our taluka has been completed. I met the district collector and required him to find a way out,' he said.

A farmer, who is waiting to sell his corn stock, alleged the collection centre has procured the produce from traders instead of local cultivators.

The farmer, Subhash Sathe, said, 'I had registered online to sell my farm produce (at Ghaygaon centre). I was called on January 23 with my farm produce.

'I reached the centre on the given date but even after 10 days, my produce is yet to be bought. On the other hand, officials of the centre have bought the produce brought by traders.' Sathe said the local administration should find a way to provide relief to farmers like him.

'I am paying Rs 1,500 rent for each day for three trailers which are carrying my farm produce which is nearly 100 to 110 quintals. The administration should find a way and give us relief,' the farmer said.

Tehsildar Gaikwad said the centre can restart corn procurement only if higher-ups give permission.

'If our senior officials tell us to buy more produce, we will do it,' he said.

The target allotted to Aurangabad district for corn procurement is 87,000 quintals, another official said.

Of this, 78,594 quintals of corn have been bought at a price of Rs 1,860 per quintal, the official told. PTI AW RSY RSY