Mrunal Manmay Dash

The farmers in Koraput district are subjected to suffering and reportedly staring at an imminent loss as 61 out of the total 81 mandis in the district are yet to be opened.

As per reports, Koraput district has 81 kharif mandis which were slated to open on December 14. Later, the Regulated Market Committee (RMC) which manages the mandis shifted the date to December 20. But it is alleged that only 20 mandis have been opened till now.

In addition to that, the millers are allegedly resorting to ‘katni chatni’ in the mandis. Be it Tankua mandi in Jeypore or Tarabhatta mandi in Borigumma, farmers allege RMC apathy in managing the mandis everywhere.

As per the allegations, the Tankua mandi does not have paddy analysis machine, weigh scale and drinking water facility for farmers. Similarly, the Tarabhatta mandi does not have basic amenities as well.

“There are many irregularities in Tarabhatta mandi. Nobody from the RMC or LAMP has shown up yet. There is nobody to alleviate our pain. While kharif paddy is being sold at Rs 3000/4000 in our neighbouring states, the Odisha government does not care about its farmers, encouraging millers to do monopoly here,” lamented a farmer, Tripati Papla.

“The mandis neither have sufficient place to keep the paddy, nor does it have instrument to weigh it. The farmer cannot keep the harvested crop in the farmland for too long. So they are forced to sell their produce to the millers and middlemen outside the mandi in a very low rate,” said Advisor of Koraput Krishak Kalyan Manch, Manoj Patra.

Asked about the allegations and the closed mandis, Regulated Market Committee (RMC) president, Prabhat Parida said, “We have provided the sampling equipment, drinking water and CCTVs to the mandis. We have been installing and repairing equipment wherever we find them malfunctioning.”

Farmers in Tarabhatta mandi had staged a dharna demanding to lift their kharif paddy from mandis on December 28. They alleged the millers procure only 80-90 percent of their paddy and leave the rest of the paddy incurring loss to the farmers.

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