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Pernem farmers show the way in paddy collection

The Pedne Taluka Shetkari Seva Society recently bagged an excellence award from National Cooperative Development Corporation, New Delhi. Bhiva Parab highlights the society’s achievement in encouraging farmers to do their best

There are several farmer co-operatives in the state. But the Pedne Taluka Shetkari Seva Society probably is the best doing an excellent job of reviving agriculture in the state.

Most of the paddy grown in Pernem taluka is by the farmers of the Shetkari Seva Society which has more than 12,000 members. The society goes to the members to collect the paddy and so they do not have to face transportation hardships and transportation costs.

“Farmers do not have to pay as we sent vehicles to farms. Vehicles are sent to the villages of Keri, Paliem, Arambol, Mandrem, Morjim, Tuem, Parse, Ibrampur, Halarna, Talarna and Casarvarnem and in fact almost entire Pernem taluka. Farmers are informed in advance about the date of collection of their paddy in their area so they can bring their crop to these places and we will collect it from them,” said the Pedne Taluka Shetkari Seva Society chairman, Milind Kerkar.

He went on to say that in the year 2016-17 the society had procured 724 tonne paddy, while in the year 2017-18 the total paddy purchased from members was 613 tonne. In the current year 2018-19 (until now) the procurement is around 600 tonne. The paddy procured by the society fluctuates every year due to various reasons.

The society procures the paddy at the market rate and currently the market rate is around Rs 12 per kg. The state government gives farmers Rs 20 per kg minus the market rate as support price. So the farmers currently get additional Rs 8 from the government as support price. Some of the farmers prefer to sell the paddy production to private buyers without taking any subsidy as they allege that for the government support price they have to wait for long time, while private buyers give instant cash to them.

“To boost the paddy cultivation in the state the government has provided the farmers with various schemes and it seems that these schemes are doing their job of boosting paddy cultivation in the taluka,” added Kerkar. He explains that, even small farmers can benefit from the various scheme of the government.

The Pedne Taluka Shetkari Seva Society started in 1975. The co-operative owns a harvesting-threshing-cum-winnowing machine as the farmers in the taluka are turning towards mechanized farming. The demand for the harvesting-threshing-cum-winnowing machines has increased over the years and due to this the farmers do not have to depend on the labourers for carrying out farm work.

As compared to manual work the job of harvesting, threshing and winnowing of paddy by machine requires hardly any time. The machine takes around only one hour for harvesting-threshing-cum-winnowing of 4000 sqmts of paddy field, whereas the same work by labourers will take several days.  The farmers who want hay for their cattle and those who have their fields in the hilly area do the harvesting manually.

While on an average the labourers charge between Rs 350 to 500 per day and apart from this sometimes we have to provide them with tea and lunch which adds to the cost and so harvesting-threshing-cum-winnowing machine is beneficial and the farmers having large agricultural land mostly employ labourers in large numbers and it is little difficult to get labourers these days.

The cost of carrying out harvesting is also less compared to the cost incurred when labourers were used and on an average Rs 5000 is saved on every acre of paddy field. The farmers are charged Rs 2,200 per hour for the use of machine, however there is Rs 1000 subsidy and so the farmers have to pay only Rs 1,200 per hour. The society has already recovered the machine’s price and it is running in profit.

“However, a drawback of this machine is that there is no grass generated in the process and so the farmers who have cattle and require grass will not get grass if they use this machine and this machine is not useful for very small fields especially in the hilly regions,” adds Kerkar.

The harvesting-threshing-cum-winnowing machine has brought cheers on the face of the farmers and the farmers say that they are happy with the outcome of the machine as due to this machine they didn’t have to depend on the labourers for carrying out harvesting, threshing and winnowing of the paddy. These works requires hardly anytime if done by the machine and the cost of carrying out these processes has also less compared to the cost incurred when labourers were used and it is difficult to get labourers.

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