The unusually fast pace of clearing wheat from mandis this year will reduce the procurement process by at least a fortnight.
Talking to , Director Agriculture Jasbir Singh Bains said, “The majority of the crop will be cleared from all the mandis in the state by end of the first week of May.”
The major reason for the fast pace has been less rain this year. Expecting rain due to a cloudy mid-March, the majority of farmers did not water their crop. “So the crop arrived early. In routine, the procurement season for wheat concludes by the end of May.”
Despite a slight delay in the payment process, the mandis, including Bathinda, Jeewansinghwala, Bhagivandar or Rama mandi, do not have any farmers waiting for the lifting of their crop.
The market areas too are being cleared at an appreciable pace and the crop is being sent to the godowns.
The Director Agriculture said, “Certain reports that the wheat yield expected this year will be lesser than last year is factually incorrect. Our records show arrival of at least 95 lakh metric tonnes of wheat till today evening. The figure will definitely cross last year’s procurement figure of 102 lakh metric tonnes.”
On the delay in payments to farmers this year, a cross section of arhtiyas in different mandis said that the payment process had become normal after a slight delay last weekend.
Dev Raj, a Bathinda arhtiya, on Sunday had confirmed that no money had been given to farmers. Today, he said, “We received our payment last Friday but could not withdraw it because of the weekend. There was a delay in the release of payments from Delhi until Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal went there. We all know it. The payments are being made normally now.”
Gurdeep Singh, a farmer who came to drop his yield at the local mandi, said, “I have deposited my crop with our arhtiya. He has always been a bank to our family. So, it does not matter even if he takes a few days to hand me my cash.”
Farmer Jaskaran from Talwandi Sabo said that he had received the payment for the crop he deposited at the Talwandi Sabo grain market on April 16.
Darshan Kumar, an arhtiya at Jeevansinghwala mandi, said, “Ï have received a payment of Rs 55 lakh till April 18 and the farmers have been paid. We should have got the remaining within 24 hours of our daily report. But there has been a slight delay.”