As untimely rain wreaks misery, Punjab assures farmers

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Chandigarh, May 3 (IANS) With tens of thousands of tonnes of wheat grain being exposed to rain in the past 24 hours in grain markets across Punjab due to inadequate measures for proper storage and lifting of wheat, the Punjab government on Thursday assured farmers that they (farmers) will not have to suffer losses due to the damage.

“Assuring the farmers unnerved by unexpected, untimely downpour reported in various parts of the state, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said that government is standing firmly by the side of farmers and none would be left to suffer at the hands of vagaries of nature,” a state government spokesman said here on Thursday.

A thunderstorm on Wednesday, followed by rain, had left the wheat grain soaked at most grain markets.

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Reiterating government’s promise of hassle-free procurement, the minister said that government is committed to lift the last grain in the market.

“All the stakeholders involved – be it the farmers, the labourers or the arthiyas, may rest assured that government will not leave them in the lurch. The Mandi Board has been directed to take concrete steps to upgrade the arrangements in mandis and ensure safety of food grains from the rain,” Ashu said.

‘Green Revolution’ state Punjab has seen 118 lakh tonnes of wheat grain being procured so far. The procurement process started on April 1.

In the same period last year, 112 lakh tonnes of wheat had been procured.

The spokesman said that 83 lakh tonnes of wheat grains have already been lifted from grain markets.

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–IANS

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