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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Unseasonal rain has seriously dented the aspirations of profits for farmers this season in several parts of Odisha. The worries of farmers in Bargarh have increased manifold due to widespread destruction of crops harvested and stored at various mandis district in the wake of rainfall. 

Farmers meanwhile have blamed the district administration for not taking pre-emptive action to prevent damage to the harvest stored out in the open due to inordinate delay in procurement of crops. 

"The district administration is responsible for the damage of the harvest. The officials didn't care to shift the crops to safer places in time despite repeated warnings of rain by the Meteorological Department," said a farmer in Bargarh.

"Had they cared about the farmers and shifted the paddy sacks in time, damages to such an extent could have been prevented," he said.

The farmers who have suffered losses have also demanded the authorities to shift the drenched paddy sacks to safer and drier places at the earliest to lessen the intensity of the damage.

"If the drenched paddy sacks are not shifted to drier places soon, we fear losing out a substantial amount of our harvest. The millers will also take advantage of the situation and buy the leftover at throw-away prices," rued another farmer.

Meanwhile, the district administration officials have assured that the drenched paddy sacks will be shifted on priority basis.

"We are taking stock of the situation at various mandis. The harvest will be shifted on priority basis soon," said Rajnikant Dash, Chief Supply Inspector of Bargarh district.

Notably, paddy procurement process in the district has begun from November 25 and so far as many as 41,00,000 quintals of paddy have been collected.

While, the district supply department is claiming that around 4,00,000 quintals of paddy have been stored in the market yards, the local farmers are saying that more than 11,00,000 quintals of paddy are still lying out in the open at various mandis across the district.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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