LARKANA: The Larkana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has appealed to the prime minister to come to the rescue of rice growers by asking the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to purchase paddy crop at a rate of Rs900 per 40kg, Khair Mohammed Shaikh, president of the LCCI, said here on Monday.
This year, he said, Sindh had seen a bumper paddy crop of three million tons, but there was no impact on the market since growers were reluctant to sell their produce due to low procurement prices.
Mr Shaikh said that in 2010, paddy was sold in the market for Rs950 per 40kg, but currently the price offered is Rs750 even though the input cost had risen manifold.
“Growers will suffer heavy losses if the procurement price is kept below Rs 900 per 40kg,” the LCCI chief said.
Mr Shaikh called upon the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to intervene and protect growers from middlemen and brokers.
The procurement price of IRRI-6 in Larkana’s grain market ranged between Rs 770 and Rs 780 per 40kg.
Altaf Metlo, a rice dealer, said traders were ready to buy paddy at a rate of Rs800 per 40kg, but on a credit of 15 days.
He said peasants would not be able even to recover the invested money because of low rates.
Abdul Rehman Soomro, who came from village Khan Mohammed Jhijhn, on the outskirts of Larkana, to sell his crop, said he had no option other than to sell paddy for Rs750 per 40kg.
Another peasant, Zulfikar Sangi from village Huzoori Sangi on Mirokhan road, said the price should be more than Rs1000 per 40kg, adding that current prices would not enable growers to even repay loans they had taken to buy fertiliser, seeds and other inputs.
Ali Madad Metlo, of Dokri taluka, said high rates of fertiliser and other items had crippled farmers.