BHAWANIPATNA: Monsoons in the midst of rabi paddy procurement has left farmers in the district worried. Apprehensive about rains causing damage to the harvest lying at their yards and mandis for sale, many farmers have started selling the produce to middlemen at less prices.
Forced to keep the produce under tarpaulin, most farmers allege they were not supplied enough gunny bags and adding to their woes are the millers who continue to dominate pricing at the mandis.
Even as the administration is trying to finish the procurement on time, flouting of Covid norms is delaying the process.
Moreover, since the validity of the tokens issued to farmers is for 12 days, many farmers have reportedly disposed of their stock to middlemen at decreased prices after not being able to sell at mandis within the stipulated dates.
During the current rabi procurement season in two phases, the district has a target to procure 21 lakh quintal as against the tentative assessment of about 30 lakh quintal.
As of Thursday, 14.5 lakh quintal paddy has been procured, 31,434 farmers registered to sell and 62 PACS and 30 women SHGs have been involved in the procurement with 61 rice mills tagged to lift the procured stocks from the 128 paddy purchasing centres.
Kalahandi Collector Parag Harshad Gavali has instructed the centres to be on alert given the weather conditions and directed to expedite lifting of paddy from the purchasing centers by the custom millers for the convenience of the farmers. He added that all stocks of the registered farmers will be procured.