Ramakanta Biswas

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government’s paddy procurement policy, which often comes under sharp criticisms from the farmers and Opposition alike, has now earned the displeasure of a legislator from the party itself.

BJD MLA from Kantamal constituency in Boudh district, Mahidhar Rana, today expressed his displeasure at the existing paddy procurement policy of the government.

Attending the meeting of the Odisha Assembly Standing Committee, Rana demanded the government to bring in changes in the 13 and 19 quintal policy adopted for procurement of paddy from farmers.

At present, the government procures 19 quintal of paddy per acre of land in irrigated belts and 13 quintal of paddy per acre in non-irrigated areas.  

“Farmer uses modern technologies and produces over 40 quintals of paddy per acre. If the government procure 13 quintals of paddy from farmers in non-irrigated lands and 19 quintals in irrigated land, where will they sell the surplus paddy,” questioned Rana. 

Stating that the employees of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) have staged dharna over their demands, the legislator said the paddy procurement will face many difficulties if the Cooperative department did not take steps to sort out their issues at the earliest.  

Speaking after the meeting Congress MLA Narasingh Mishra said, “We held discussions on the steps taken by the government to ensure that farmers can sell their produces without any hassle and at suitable price. Besides, implementation of the recommendations of the committee was also reviewed. Most of the procurement centres in the State lack CCTV surveillance. We have asked to expedite the process.”

BJP leader Manmohan Samal said, “Paddy should be procured from farmers at legitimate price without troubling them. They should be paid money at right time. Even this has been the demand of the MLAs of the ruling party for the past 13 years.”