BALASORE:The slow pace of paddy procurement has landed the farmers of Balasore district in a spot. With 1.92 lakh quintals of kharif paddy procured by Government agencies against a target of 7.5 lakh quintals till date, the farmers fear that further delay would reflect on repayment of loans that they had availed for the crop.
Procurement of fair average quality (FAQ) paddy at Minimum Support Price (MSP) of `1,360 per quintal was started across the district from December 15 last year and will continue till March 31.
On the other hand, delay in registration of farmers’ names at the cooperative societies has left them at the receiving end. As per the new procurement policy, the farmers, who have not registered their names, cannot sell their produce at mandis.
Of nearly 1.72 lakh farmers in the district, only 30,735 have registered their names so far. The rest of the farmers complained of clumsy process for the delay in registration.
Rice cultivators blamed the Tehsil and Civil Supply officials for the delay in registration process. They alleged that the registration forms have been held up at both the offices which are supposed to clear the same immediately after receiving those.
As per norms, a farmer has to apply through the registration form at his nearby cooperative society, which in turn forwards it to the Civil Supply office and then Tehsil office to ascertain the exact area of agricultural land of the farmer concerned. The name gets registered after the Revenue Inspector submits land inspection report.
District Civil Supplies Officer (CSO) DK Sahu said the farmers should not worry about registration. “The process will continue till all the farmers, who have applied through the forms, are registered. We are speeding up the process to achieve the target in time,” he added.
Civil Supply officials said 161 centres have been opened by 143 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) for paddy procurement in 12 blocks of the district.