Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Affairs Minister Jayesh Radadiya on Saturday said that the number of farmers who have got themselves registered for selling their groundnut to government at minimum support price (MSP) has reached 91,000 within three days after the beginning of the registration process. He added that the registration process will go on till October 20 without any holiday in between.
“Last year, total 4.71 lakh farmers had got themselves registered for selling their groundnut to the government at MSP. Against this, 91,000 farmers have got themselves registered within three days of the start of the registration process this year. To ensure that farmers don’t face any difficulty, registration process will go on till October 20 without any off day. Registration process will remain on till 11 pm every day and it will continue on Sundays also,” Radadiya said while addressing a press conference in Rajkot.
The minister’s statement comes amid a strike by village computer entrepreneurs (VCEs) who otherwise have been doing bulk of such registration of farmers for the past two years. But this year, the VCEs, who are engaged by village panchayats, went on an indefinite strike on October 1, demanding they be paid salaries instead of commission for filling up forms and doing registration of farmers online on behalf of the state government.
The Gujarat State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (GSCSCL), a state government undertaking functioning under the aegis of the Ministry of Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Affairs, pays VCEs Rs10 commission for every registration of farmers they facilitate.
Radadiya, however, said that if the VCEs continued with their strike, the government would press gram sevaks on the job. “Last year, the registration process was carried out by 3,500 VCEs and talati-cum-mantris. This year, it is being done by 1,879 VCEs ad talati-cum-mantris, To ensure that farmers are not inconvenienced in their villages, gramsevaks will be roped in for registration process. If need arises, cooperative societies will also be approached for doing this job,” said Radadiya.
Incidentally, strike of the VCEs has badly affected registration process in some districts. Till Friday, around 49,000 registrations were done.
The Central government has increased MSP for groundnut from Rs 5,090 last year to Rs 5,275 this year. Last year, the Centre had procured five lakh metric tonnes of groundnut at MSP from 2.44 lakh farmers of Gujarat.
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