Tapioca farmers and traders from Salem and nearby districts gathered in front of the Collectorate and opposed the new procurement practice proposed by Sago and starch producers and Sagoserve here.
In their petition, members of the Attur and Kattukottai tapioca traders association urged the authorities to withdraw the new practice and procure tapioca as was done earlier.
They said that the new practice would cause severe loss to the farmers, traders and daily wagers involved in this trade and their livelihood would be affected.
The traders said that they procured tapioca from Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Kallakurichi, Villupuram and Cuddalore districts and at least 5,000 persons were making a living through this trade.
Balaji, a tapioca farmer from Erode, said, “Earlier, traders used to visit our farm and procure tapioca based on its quality. But now, in the new procurement practice, the tapioca has to be brought all the way to the sago and starch factories and they will pay us based on the quality. We have to bear the transportation and labour charges. This is the harvest season and we have decided to stop harvest until the new practice is reversed.”
Following the announcement of poll dates for rural local bodies, the weekly grievances redress meeting was cancelled on Monday.
The petitioners had to drop the petitions in a box placed in front of the Collectorate.