Built by Adani Agri Logistics around five years ago,the silo at Dagru village in Moga with with state-of-the-art facilities and capacity to store 2 lakh tonnes grain,it is still awaiting farmers acceptance.
One of the two such facilities in India the other is located at Kaithal in Haryana the silo is proving to be a costly affair for the Food Corporation of India (FCI),which has rented it for Rs 3.3 crore on an average for every month (Rs 2,000 per ton per year).
While on one hand,the silo management claims that farmers can benefit in many ways by bringing their produce directly to this facility,farmers say they still prefer conventional mandis and paying arthiyas (middlemen) for cleaning and packing the produce in gunny bags.
In the beginning,the management had tried to offer incentives,gift coupons and even rates higher than the MSP to farmers for two years but the response was still poor.
Now,taking serious note of the matter,FCI has recently held a meeting with arhtiyas from the region and agreed to pay them commission as is done in mandis,provided they encourage farmers to bring the produce directly to silo for sale.
Speaking to The Indian Express,general manager of the silo,Puneet Mendiratta,said: It is an end-to-end process right from unloading to dispatch where all headaches of farmers are completely eliminated. Though we are paying MSP price only,but as compared to conventional mandis,farmers will get many other benefits if they sell the produce directly to us.
Firstly,in mandis,transactions are not transparent and is a lengthy process. But in our silo,farmers will get payment within an hour and that too for every single grain. Moreover,unlike in mandis,where farmers pay for processes like cleaning produce and packing it in gunny bags to middlemen,in silo,this is done by us without any cost to farmers, he added.
Here,farmers need to bring their produce in trolleys. It is weighed as one unit. It saves time,efforts and money. We process one trolley in maximum one hour and in the meantime,farmers can get another trolley. But in mandis,this process takes 2 to 3 days, said Mendiratta.
According to sources,in the wheat procurement season that began last week,the silo has received a better response with 10,414 tonnes of wheat procured directly from farmers. In none of the past seasons,the silo has been able to procure wheat according to its capacity. Last year,it received only 1.07 lakh tonnes of wheat. It has set target of 1.1 lakh tonnes this year.
Baljit Singh,a farmer from Dagru,said: I was very impressed with this system. I came for the first time to sell wheat here and got money within hours. Surely,I will recommend it to others.
The only reason why farmers do not come here is the distance. On their way,they get 7 to 8 mandis,but once they come here and see the system,they are satisfied, said Hartej Singh,a farmer from Channuwala.