Mrunal Manmay Dash

Farmers in Kendrapara’s Pattamundai alleged that they are forced to sell their paddy to buyers from other States way below the Minimum Support Price (MSP) because the mandis are yet to open in the district.

As per reports, mandis for Kharif crop are yet to open in many areas of Kendrapara. With harvesting finished almost a month back, it is already too late for farmers.

“It would have been better had the mandis opened before December 25. Trucks from Andhra Pradesh are taking away our paddy at very low prices. The time provided to take our paddy to the mandis is really problematic. Farmers are facing a lot of problems to take paddy to mandis,” said a local farmer, Naresh Jena.

Another farmer Manas Kar said, “The government has announced to procure our paddy at Rs 2300. But mandis are yet to open. We are forced to sell our paddy between Rs 1300-1600 to Andhra buyers.”

Asked about the issues, Kendrapara Collector Amrit Rituraj said, “Mandis have opened this week. Dates of paddy procurement have been communicated to all. The farmers who have registered can sell their produce in the mandi on that designated day. If trucks from outside the State are coming to buy paddy, then we will not allow it. We will make sure the farmers get their MSP in the mandis.”

It is pertinent to mention here that, the mandi problem has not only hit the farmers of Kendrapara, but farmers in Koraput have also been facing similar issues for long. Alleged mismanagement and 'katni chhatni' in many mandis have led to protests in many areas of the district.