Growers reject rice support price

Post Source: Bureau Report DAWN Saturday, 05 Sep, 2009  

HYDERABAD, Sept 4: The Sindh Abadgar Board has rejected support price for Irri, coarse rice and other varieties announced by the Economic Coordination Committee for 2009-10 and described them as mind boggling.

The board’s president Abdul Majeed Nizamani and vice-president Gada Hussain Mahessar said in a joint statement issued on Friday that the prices also reflected the committee’s ignorance of the ground realities.

The government had last year fixed the support price for Irri-6 and other coarse varieties for Sindh and Balochistan at Rs700 per 40kg but this year, the price had most surprisingly been fixed at Rs600 per 40 kg, which defied common sense and all canons of justice, they said.

They said that it was well known that the prices of fresh crops were always increased due to inflation but this rule was ignored by the ECC. They said that among all the food crops, rice was the only crop in which the country was not only self sufficient but it also exported it to earn precious foreign exchange. They said that the government was meting out step-motherly treatment to the agriculture sector and it appeared to be part of a deep rooted conspiracy not only against the agriculture sector and national economy but also against the country itself.

They accused the bureaucracy and other mafias of filling their coffers with commission money by allowing import of food items.

The country was producing 6 million tons of rice and after meeting its own requirement 2.9 million tons were exported every year on which Pakistan earned no less than $3 billion, they said.

They said that the support price for Irri and coarse rice had been decreased notwithstanding the fact that prices of agricultural inputs including diesel, power, fertilisers and agricultural machinery had risen by 18 to 22 per cent just within a year.

They demanded that the support price of Irri-6 should be fixed at Rs850 per 40 kg and a comprehensive rice policy should be announced.

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