Mrunal Manmay Dash

The unseasonal rain which has been lashing many parts of Odisha since the last six days has sent the farmers into a tizzy as tonnes of their paddy are left to soak in the rain in open mandis.

As per reports, thousands of packets of paddy at Barikel Mandi in Odisha’s rice bowl, Bargarh have been waiting to be lifted by millers since the last one month. But it has been alleged that neither the millers nor the Regulated Market Committee (RMC) cared for their plight.

Farmers alleged despite being tagged and receiving tokens, no millers have showed up at the mandi to lift their paddy. And now with the rains, the farmers are staring at uncertainty.

Not only at Barikel but the situation is more or less similar at other mandis in the district too, including Padampur, Paikmal and Jharbandh.

Sources said the paddy packets were kept in the open at mandis without any coverings from the RMC. When the rain first started six days back, the farmers complained which forced the RMC authorities to provide some polythene sheets to cover their paddy. But the rain continued for six days and despite polythene covering and moisture has seeped into the packets.

“The RMC did not provide us any polythene to cover our paddy. We arranged polythene sheets ourselves and covered it. But it was too late and we lost a lot of paddy to rain,” said a farmer Dharmendra Saha.

The farmers now fear that when the millers will come, they will make even more katni chhatni due to wet paddy.

“Now as the paddy is drenched in rain, a lot of it would start germinating. The millers are intentionally arriving late. They are already deducting 2kg of paddy in katni chhatni. When they will see germinated paddy, they will make katni chhatni to the tune of 6-8 kg. We will suffer heavy loss,” rued the farmer.

  • Reported by:
  • Somesh Chandra Mohanty