Paddy procurement is going on at a snail’s pace in the district despite the intervention of Managing Director of Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) Suresh Kumar Vashishth and Collector Balwant Singh.
While Vashishth brought about a rapprochement between farmers and millers and stressed on the need for compromise by both the parties, Singh had warned of stern action against millers if they did not lift paddy and make immediate online payment to farmers. According to reports, about 51,000 bags of paddy were lying in various market yards across the district even as more stocks were reaching the market yards till Wednesday evening. Food and Civil Supplies Officer Bijay Rath said lifting process is on and about 25,000 bags were transported on Thursday.
Sources said the millers were not cooperating in transportation of paddy to the rice mills even though it has been procured by the agencies concerned. Besides, the millers are deducting the weight of paddy on account of foreign body content and have slowed down lifting, they added.
As per norms, the procuring agencies make payment to the farmers only after the paddy is lifted. As the millers are deliberately delaying in lifting the stock, the payment has also been held back. As a result, the farmers are selling their stock to outsiders at a lower rate for instant payment. The worst affected area is Kuchinda sub-division where the farmers alleged that their produce is rejected by the agencies on some plea or the other.
Advisor of Sambalpur Zilla Krushak Surakhya Sangathan Ashok Pradhan said online payment to farmers was a ‘hog wash’ and the farmers were not getting their dues on time.
Stating that Kuchinda sub-division had fallen prey to unholy nexus of millers, procurement agencies and Government officials, he said the district administration should intervene in the matter.