DEOGARH: Delay in paddy procurement by the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) in the district has sparked off widespread resentment among the farmers.
Though procurement for the kharif season began on December 12 last year, about 1,000 tonnes of paddy have been collected by PACS in the district till date against the target of 17,000 tonnes set by the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department.
Farmers’ leader Pramod Jhankar said they have repeatedly drawn the attention of the administration towards the issue but in vain. “We will launch a demonstration from Monday if the district administration fails to assure hassle-free paddy procurement,” he added.
The Department had identified 29 PACS in Barkote, Tileibani and Reamal blocks of the district for smooth procurement of paddy. Of those PACS, 11 have been identified in Barkote, eight in Tileibani and 10 in Reamal block. But not a single bag of paddy has been procured from Danra, Khajurikhaman and Kadopada PACS in Barkote block and Ganganala, Laimura and Jharagogua PACS in Tileibani block. Besides, the farmers of Reamal block have been left in the lurch as none of the 10 PACS is yet to begin procurement.
Though 6,852 farmers registered online for selling paddy through PACS, the indifferent attitude of the district administration has forced most of them to sell their produce at rates much less than the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of `1,360 per quintal. Admitting slow pace of procurement, Civil Supplies Officer of Deogarh Md Raza Ali said about 1,000 tonnes of paddy have been procured till now and efforts are on to make all the PACS operational soon.