Slow Paddy Procurement Leads to Distress Sale
By Express News Service | Published: 07th January 2014 10:13 AM |
Delay in lifting of paddy from the mandis by the procurement agencies of the State Government has led to distress sale benefiting rice millers and private traders.
According to reports from major paddy producing districts, huge stocks of kharif paddy are lying in open in different mandis and farmers waiting for days to sell their produce had no clue when their stock will be lifted by mandi functionaries.
“Government agencies are in cahoots with the rice millers and the deliberate delay in lifting the paddy will force the farmers to sell the paddy to the millers at cheaper rates,” said a ruling BJD MLA of Kalahandi district.
According to official reports, 10.23 lakh tonnes of paddy have been procured by the Government till January 3 against 14.27 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period last year.
The State Government has set a target for the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) to procure three lakh tonnes of rice (equivalent paddy of 4.41 lakh tonnes) from Bargarh district, considered the rice bowl of the State, during the current kharif marketing season.
The State public sector undertaking has procured four lakh tonnes of paddy against 5.18 lakh tonnes procured during the same period last year. The district yielded a bumper crop this kharif despite flash floods due to cyclone induced heavy rain in few areas.
Farmers of Kalahandi district are hit hard by the awfully slow pace of paddy procurement. The OSCSC has procured nearly 87,000 tonnes of paddy against 1.52 lakh tonnes during this period last year.
This is despite the fact that 122 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) are engaged in the district for procurement. Initially, 74 PACS were selected for procurement in the district.
The State run corporation has been procuring paddy through 2420 PACS in all districts.
The PACS are paid two per cent of the total proceeds towards mandi handling operations.
Similar is the situation in Sambalpur and Subarnapur, the two other major paddy producing districts in Western Odisha.
One lakh tonne of paddy has been procured in Sambalpur against 1.45 lakh tonne during the same period last year while in Subarnapur, 85,000 tonnes have been procured against a target of 1.47 lakh tonnes.
The Phailin affected Ganjam district is yet to open its account. The district lost its entire kharif crop to the devastating cyclone followed by subsequent flood.