SAMBALPUR: Farmers of Sambalpur are up in arms against State Government’s new norms for Kharif paddy procurement that debars them from registration beyond August 31.
Even as cultivation of Kharif paddy began only in the first week of this month, the Civil Supplies Department has asked farmers to register themselves online in Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS) for procurement within August 31. As per a notification by the department, no farmers will be registered beyond the deadline.
With farmers busy in transplantation of paddy saplings now, they are unwilling to spend time running round the PACS for registration. Convenor of Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samawaya Samiti (POKSSS), Ashok Pradhan said procurement of kharif paddy starts in the first week of November for which farmers have enough time for registration between September and October. “At some places registration is done 15 days prior to procurement. But this time, such an autocratic decision of the State Government will only put farmers in trouble,’ he said.
To add to farmers’ woes, Government has decided not to procure crops grown on highlands from this year. These lands locally known as ‘Guda’ or ‘Tikra’ are at an elevated position than the normal plains where water runs off leading to low crop yield. While these lands were not suitable for commercial farming, they were mostly left idle until few decades back. However, farmers have made cultivation possible on these lands now by changing soil and improved irrigation facilities. Crops grown on these lands were also procured by Government.
This year, the Guda land category has been removed from the P-PAS software barring farmers owning this land from registering themselves. Pradhan said many small and marginal farmers own Guda lands. “These decisions are being taken in the Capital City without realising the ground realities”, he alleged.