MALKANGIRI/RAYAGADA: Farmers of Malkangiri have resented delay in lifting food grains during the ongoing paddy procurement process. Farmers of Chitapari-1 under Korukonda police limits alleged that although they have brought paddy to the procurement centre four days back, the stocks are yet to be lifted by Large Area Multi-purpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPS). As a result, they are forced to stay back in the procurement centre, which lacks basic facilities for them, to guard their grains.
They further alleged that LAMPS authorities are deducting minimum support price of five kg of paddy from every gunny bag of 50 kg paddy stating that the stock is not fair average quality (FAQ).Farmers from Khairput and Surlikonda areas also made similar complaints. They alleged that brokers are selling paddy in procurement centres by disguising themselves as farmers.
Contacted, Sub-Collector Rameswar Pradhan said LAMPS have to pay the procurement price to farmers as per FAQ of paddy fixed by the State Government. “We had asked farmers to bring paddy to the mandis after processing the stock as only processed paddy is considered FAQ and there would be no deduction. However, many farmers have brought their paddy stocks without processing them,” he said. The officer added that LAMPS have been asked to lift paddy without further delay and denied involvement of any brokers in the procurement process.
Farmers, on the other hand, have sought intervention of the Collector in the matter.In Rayagada district, the first day of paddy procurement was marred by millers’ agitation of paddy procurement target. Members of Millers’ Association of Rayagada did not procure paddy from the mandi on the premises of Rayagada Regulated Marketing Committee resenting procurement target fixed by Civil Supply Department. They alleged that some millers have been given more procurement target as compared to the others.
In the evening, Collector Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar assured the agitators that an inquiry will be initiated into excess paddy procurement target and steps will be taken accordingly. Following the assurance, the millers agreed to participate in the procurement process that would be carried out through 37 market yards and procurement centres in the district by Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS).
Around 1,11,940 MT paddy will be procured and milled to obtain 75,000 MT rice from the district by the department. However, Deputy Director of Agriculture said the paddy target may go up to 1,55,333 MT in the current kharif marketing season.