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Sanjeev Kumar Pradhan

Sonepur/Malkangiri: Farmers in various districts of Odisha are facing a tough time in the paddy procurement process owing to a dispute over fair average quality (FAQ) norms with rice millers. According to sources, farmers in Sonepur are in distress over fair average quality (FAQ) norms even after a week of opening of the mandis.

Farmers alleged that rice millers are seeking concession during procurement and even complained that they are not being paid requisite reimbursement for transporting paddy from the mandis to the rice mills.

Reportedly, the farmers have denied supplying paddy to the millers after the millers demanded concessions on the actual weight of the paddy. The farmers have also complained of being harassed during procurement process.

“The millers are not willing to lift paddy from mandis as a result of which large quantity paddy lying at Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS),” rued a farmer.

Meanwhile, discussions between the farmers and the district sub-collector and officials of the Supply department have yielded no results so far.

In Malkangiri, the administration has set up 62 mandis this year but there has been no improvement in the procurement process. Chitrokonda MLA Dambaru Sisa reviewed the situation and said that necessary steps will be taken to sort out the problem.

“Good quality paddy should be provided by the farmers and millers should not demand cuts/compensation for procuring paddy. If any such instance comes to our notice, necessary actions will be taken,” said the MLA.

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