The Himachal government has released the maize growing farmers of the state on their own terms. Even though the central government has fixed the minimum support price of maize at Rs 1850/ quintal farmers are not getting the benefit of minimum support price due to non-opening of maize procurement centers in the state.
The crisis has deepened for the farmers due to non-establishment of maize based industries. The central government fixes the minimum support price for maize procurement every year, but it will be said that the farmers of the state are unfortunate that till date not a single maize procurement center could be opened in the state.
Maize growers have to bear the brunt of the first season and if the production of maize is good then it does not get good price in the market. Farmers are unable to sell maize at MSP even if they want. Sanjay Chauhan, general secretary of Himachal Pradesh Kisan Samyukta Sangharsh Samiti, says that the government has left the maize growers to their trust. Neither the central government opens the purchase of maize, nor are big industries based on maize being established in the state. The government should encourage investment for setting up large industries based on agriculture and horticulture crops.
No maize based industry
There is no major maize based industry established in the state, which can use maize as raw material. If such industries were established, the farmers would not have to sell their crops at throwaway prices. About seven lakh metric tonnes of maize is produced in the state. Maize can be used to make corn flakes, starch and many other products.
Maize had to be sold at Rs 800 per quintal
Last year also, farmers had to sell maize at the rate of Rs 800 per quintal due to non-opening of procurement centers in the state, whereas last year the minimum support price was fixed at Rs 1830 per quintal.
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