Pradeep Pattanayak

With the millers refusing to accept freshly harvested paddy crops and the token period drawing to an end, the farmers of Jagamohan Panchayat under Dharakote block in Ganjam district are in a real quandary.  

Demanding a solution to the procurement issues the farmers staged a demonstration at the Dharakote Tehsildar’s office on Wednesday. 

According to the agitating farmers, mandis or paddy procurement centres have been opened across Ganjam district since December 29. At present while the token period is drawing to the close, the harvested paddy crops are still lying in the farmlands. They alleged that the millers were refusing to accept their produces saying the target had already been achieved. The distressed farmers who staged the demonstration later submitted a memorandum to the Tehsildar. 

“Are around 250 of us (farmers) are having a tough time to save our produces from getting wasted. The harvested paddy crops are lying in the farmlands and farmyards. Wild animals and rodents are posing a constant threat to the crops,” alleged Jaleswar Sahu, a farmer. 

Meanwhile, the Odisha Food Supplies Minister, Ranendra Pratap Swain, on Wednesday admitted that mandis at several places are facing problems. He said it was on account of the inclement weather condition. “There is no disruption in our system. But, bad weather, particularly the unseasonal rains, has disrupted the procurement process,” Swain said.

The Minister said the millers are unwilling to accept the paddy with higher moisture content. “Whenever we receive any complaint regarding paddy procurement, we address them with urgency,” Swain claimed adding that the department is taking all possible measures to help the farmers.

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