• otv
Ramakanta Biswas

Rayagada: While resentment continues to brew among farmers in western Odisha due to token system, farmers of Rayagada district staged a protest alleging non-procurement of paddy at the mandi here on Friday.

According to sources, the mandi was opened in front of Regulated Market Committee (RMC), Rayagada on Friday in presence of the district collector Pramod Kumar Behera, sub-collector Pratap Chandra Pradhan and other officials of supplies department.

A large number of farmers gathered at the mandi to sell their paddy. However, the officials refused to procure their paddy citing non-registration of farmers (names). It led to a faceoff between the officials and the farmers, triggering tension in the area.

“After hearing about opening of the mandi, we came here to sell paddy. However, the officials told us that our paddy will not be procured. We were told that the registration was concluded in August and hence, we cannot sell our paddy,” said Sudhir Kumar Mishra, a farmer.

“We were not informed earlier about the registration for paddy procurement. After we brought our paddy to the mandi, they denied accepting our produce. There is a nexus between the government and the millers,” alleged another farmer, Nakul Senapati.

Responding to the allegations, collector Pramod Kumar Behera said, “There are some farmers whose registration has not been done. We have informed the government about it. As the rain got delayed and farmers were busy in their work, they did not turn up for registration. We are ensuing that no farmer faces any problem in selling paddy.”

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