KENDRAPARA: Distress sale of paddy has been reported in the district due to inordinate delay in opening the market yards, leaving a large number of farmers in the lurch.
Sources said the Odisha State Civil Supply Corporation (OSCSC) has decided to procure 35,000 tonnes of paddy in the first phase in the district from December 30. Later, more paddy will be procured from the farmers. At least 115 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACSs) will procure paddy and hand it over to 14 rice mills in the district, Civil Supply Officer (CSO) Ramanath Sahoo said. Sukant Jena, a farmer of Dhaniapada village, said, “We are desperate to sell the harvested paddy crop and it is not possible to wait till December 30 to sell our produce at the procurement centre in Tikhiri, which is 20 km from the village. Two weeks back, I sold five quintals of paddy. Though the Government has fixed `1,470 per quintal for Fair Average Quality (FAQ) paddy, farmers are selling their paddy at lower price to rice traders.”
Farmers of the district have harvested around 6,15,000 tonnes of paddy over 1.23 lakh hectares of land during the kharif season, Deputy Director of Agriculture Prafulla Mishra said.