Karnataka Farmers sell rice to Reliance retail above MSP

Karnataka: About 1,100 farmers in Karnataka signed an agreement to sell their paddy directly to Reliance Retail, arm of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), above the minimum support price (MSP) through an agro-based company at Sindhanur in Raichur, according to IANS reports.

As per the  reports Swasthya Farmers Producing Company (SFPC) Managing Director V. Mallikarjun said that on behalf of 1,100 farmers, who are company’s shareholders, an agreement has been signed on January 6 to sell about 1,000 tonne of Sona Masoori rice variety to Reliance Retail at Rs 1,950 per quintal (100 kg), which is Rs 100 above the MSP of Rs 1,850 per quintal.

He also said that the agreement has been signed under the recently amended Karnataka Agricultural Marketing Committee (KAPMC) Act, 2020, which allows farmers to directly sell their produce even outside APMC yards to anyone and above MSP.

Karnataka on January 1 notified the KAPMC Act, which restricts powers of the APMCs and omits penal provisions to help farmer sell their produce directly even outside the APMC yards to anyone who pays more than the MSP, fixed by the state government.

“Since the agreement was signed, the farmers have till Saturday delivered about 100 tonne to Reliance Retail, which has taken a warehouse of the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) on lease in the town,” said Mallikarjun.

“The balance 900 tonne will be delivered to Reliance Retail warehouse over the next 9 to 10 days at the rate of 100 tonne per day. Though the farmers are getting Rs. 100 more per quintal than the MSP, they have to bear the cost of sacks (gunny bags), transport and loading or unloading charges of the paddy at the warehouse from their fields where they harvested recently,” he added.

The 2-year-old company (SFPC) has been Promoted by the state-run NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), to help farmers in not only ensuring higher food production, but also get maximum returns on their investment.

Companies can procure farm produce across the state under the Direct Purchase Centre License granted by the state Cooperation department.

Karnataka has about 160 APMCs across the state on which about 60,000 traders and middlemen depend for livelihood.

(With IANS inputs)

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