Odisha farmers’ body alleges flaws in Ganjam paddy procurement
“As per the norms, registered farmers can sell up to 60 lakh quintal paddy but the district administration has set a target to purchase only 40 lakh quintal.
Published: 16th January 2023 07:51 AM | Last Updated: 16th January 2023 07:51 AM | A+A A-
BERHAMPUR: Alleging irregularities in paddy procurement process in the current kharif season, Rushikulya Rayat Mahasabha has urged the Ganjam collector to take corrective action. Secretary of the outfit Simanchal Nahak said only 1.32 lakh farmers have registered their names to sell their paddy and around one lakh farmers including sharecroppers have not yet been able to do so.
“As per the norms, registered farmers can sell up to 60 lakh quintal paddy but the district administration has set a target to purchase only 40 lakh quintal. Since farmers have harvested good quality and quantity paddy this year, middlemen are reportedly purchasing it from them at much lower rates,” he alleged.
The administration has opened procurement centres in each block and entrusted women self-help groups to purchase paddy. But since it is a time-taking process and requires the farmers to bear transportation costs as well, middlemen lure them into selling their paddy directly to millers who lift their harvest from their doorsteps, Nahak stated.
“The millers take an additional seven to eight kilogram per quintal of paddy. Such exploitation is going on in connivance with supply officers. Due to delay in purchase, farmers of various blocks are reportedly storing their paddy to sell them to outside traders,” Nahak said further pointing out that many farmers will not be able to sell their paddy at the procurement centres since their token will expire on January 21.
Collector Dibya Jyoti Parida, however, denied irregularities in paddy procurement. He said procurement in some blocks including Beguniapada was delayed but paddy of all registered farmers will be purchased even after their tokens expire.
“By now, around 40 per cent farmers have sold their paddy to mandis and others too will get sufficient time to sell their harvest as the procurement process will continue till February,” Parida said adding if required the date will further be extended with approval of the government.