After pests, unseasonal rain, farmers have tough time with millers

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Nabarangpur/Malkangiri: After struggling hard to protect their crops from natural calamities, pests and unseasonal rain, the farmers in Nabarangpur and Malkangiri are allegedly being exploited by the millers who purchased their hard earned paddy by slashing five to seven kgs per quintal.

Due to inordinate delay in procurement at Mandis, they have no alternative rather to agree to the demands of millers in fear of crop damage. The farmers alleged that LAMPS (large area multi-purpose cooperative societies) officials have vanished only after issuing a token.

“We have to spend day and night at mandis in a chilled weather condition under open sky to protect our crops. But, the millers are yet to turn up. We will hold government responsible in case of any theft,” said a farmer in Jharigaan of Nabarangpur district.

Similar is the situation with farmers of Malkangiri where the millers also rule the roost in at least 60 mandis in the district. “We have brought around 30 quintal paddy. But the millers refused to purchase if we don’t give them extra 10 or 12 kg per quintal. We have no other way rather to sell the crops in throughway prices,” said another farmer in Bhejaguda of Malkangiri district.

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However, Food and Civil Supplies department feigned ignorance about the matter. “We have received no allegation of manipulation in any of the mandis. We are in touch with the district Collectors. If it happens anywhere, the concerned LAMPS, packs will be raided immediately and action taken against the concerned officials and millers, Food Minister Suryanarayan Patro said.

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