Though procurement of summer paddy crop locally called Dalua was started in Kalahandi district from May 24, its slow progress has caused anxiety among the farmers who are gearing up for next crop with the approach of monsoon.
According to an assessment of Agriculture department, around 2.76 tonnes of Dalua paddy was produced with Indravati irrigated area accounting for most of it.
The district administration has decided to open 52 paddy procurement centres in the district and tag those centres with rice mills. With the paddy procured in the last kharif season, the mills have delivered 60 per cent of rice to the receiving centres and FCI. Now, the millers are ready to lift Dalua paddy from the procurement centres. So far, 44 out of total 87 rice millers are ready for procurement. According to official sources, only 39 purchasing centres in Dharamgarh sub-division have been operational and 93,996 quintals of paddy from 1,622 farmers purchased with major portion of the harvested paddy yet to be procured.
With the monsoon already entering south Odisha, the farmers are anxiously waiting to sell their produce before it gets damaged in rain as most of the paddy purchasing centres lack shed. But at the pace the procurement is in progress, they are worried that the paddy stock piled in procurement centres and at their thrashing grounds will not be disposed of before the onset of monsoon.