Farmers demand that govt procure all their grains

Berhampur: Different farmers organisation today staged demonstration at Chhatrapur, Ganjam district headquarter town, protesting alleged distress sale of paddy in the district and demanded procurement of all grains from farmers, including the share croppers by the government agency.

Though the farmers this time harvested bumper paddy due to good climatic condition, the government agencies refused to take paddy from them. The government has fixed lower procurement target for each district. This has forced the farmers to sell their products to middlemen and miller agents of Andhra Pradesh, alleged former Union minister Braja Kishore Tripathy.

In some areas of the district, the farmers, particularly the share-croppers have resorted to sell the paddy at distress due to non-opening of mandi (procurement centers), alleged Rabi Rath, convener, Odisha Chasi Surakshya Sangha.

Among others former minister Panchanana Kanungo, social activist Prafulla Samantara, former CPI MLA (Chhatrapur) N.Narayan Reddy, farmer leader Bibhuti Jena and secretary, Rushihulya Raita Mahasabha Simanchal Nahak addressed the protest meeting. They submitted a memorandum to the District Collector.

District administration, however, ruled out any distress sale of paddy in the district. “We have no report of distress sale of paddy anywhere”, said civil supply officer (CSO) Ganjam Ajit Kumar Patra.

He said the mandi (procurement centers) were opened in 375 places across the district and over 7.19 lakh quintals of paddy have been procured from 19,300 farmers so far.

The government has fixed a target to procure 26,000 quintal of paddy from the farmers this year. Last year, around 35 lakh quintals of paddy had procured in the district. “This is initial target and it may be revised CSO said.

He said around 95,000 farmers have been registered so far to supply paddy this time. The online registration is open and the farmers who wish to register will register now he added.