JEYPORE: The stalemate over paddy procurement has been continuing in Koraput district following a dispute over fair average quality (FAQ) norms between farmers and millers even after 12 days of opening of mandis.
As a result, more than 50,000 quintals of paddy are lying at different village points and mandis in Jeypore and Koraput sub-divisions for sale due to the dispute. Though the administration had opened the mandis in the region on November 9, it could not be geared up due to non-participation of millers of the district. Later, they joined in the procurement process on November 26 following pressure from the administration.
However, as soon as the mandis started functioning, the District Millers’ Association raised their voice over low quality paddy in the centres and informed the District Civil Supply office about non-availability of FAQ standard paddy. They urged the administration to ensure only FAQ standard paddy transaction in the mandis for quality custom milling rice (CMR).
The officials of civil supply and PACS, who are authorised for paddy quality measurement in the district, asked the farmers to bring FAQ standard paddy to the procurement centre for sale. This led to widespread resentment among the farmers.
While the officials suggested that the millers should purchase paddy stocks by negotiating with farmers, the latter urged them to accept their rice after custom milling. So far, only 323 quintal of paddy has been purchased at the mandis in the district.
The district administration has decided to hold a tripartite meeting between farmer leaders, officials and millers to resolve the issue soon for smooth functioning of mandis.Meanwhile, the farmers have urged the district administration to purchase all types of paddies from the farmers, irrespective of their quality, at the minimum support price (MSP). The paddy, which was saved from the untimely rains, is likely to be discoloured and would not fulfil the norms of the FAQ prescribed by the Government, they said.