KENDRAPARA:A large number of farmers across the district has resorted to distress sale of kharif paddy sustaining financial loss due to delay on the part of procurement agencies and low target set by the State Government.
“We are desperate to sell our yield after the harvest. It is not possible on the part of farmers to carry paddy bags to the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society (PACS) at Rajnagar, 25 km from our village. Last week, I sold six quintals of paddy at Rs 6,000. I am aware that the Government has fixed the minimum support price (MSP) of fair average quality (FAQ) paddy at Rs 1,360 per quintal. But, some rice traders came to our village to collect paddy for which we sold our stock to them,” said Randhir Mandal, a farmer of Talachua village.
The Odisha State Civil Supply Corporation (OSCSC) had entrusted 100 PACSs to procure paddy from the farmers.
Though the farmers had harvested the crop in December last year, the authorities started procurement from January 10. “The delay forced many farmers to sell paddy to rice traders at a cheaper price,” said Sarat Jena, a farmer of Gandakhia village.
This year, the farmers had planned to sell around 50,000 tonnes of paddy. But OSCSC decided to procure 24,000 tonnes for which the farmers have started selling their produce at a substantial discount. Many PACSs also refused to purchase paddy from the farmers stating that their crop did not match the FAQ standard, said Babaji Parida, a farmer of Pattamundai.
About 3.8 lakh tonnes of paddy have been produced in the district this year.