Poor farmer turnout at online registration for Rabi paddy procurement

Bhubaneswar: With the deadline for online registration of farmers for Rabi paddy procurement over on April 10, the government is worried about the drastic reduction of number of registrations in some districts.

As per sources, not even a single farmer of Jajpur, Kandhamal, Khurda, Mayurbhanj and Nayagargh districts has registered for the online process while in Rayagada only two farmers have enrolled their names to sell their winter crops.

The State Government has directed the paddy procuring district administrations to review the pace of farmer registration with Civil Supplies Officers, ARCS, DRCS along with other officials for expediting the process and take suitable remedial measures wherever possible.

Speaking about the situation, Bijay Kumar Prusty, Joint Secretary Food and Civil Supplies department said “The procurement process begins on May 1 and will continue for a period of two months up to June end. The District Collectors have been asked to expedite the process.”

It is pertinent to note that last year around 1,89,000 farmers were registered for paddy collection through PACS, but this year, only 19,389 farmers of 19 districts have enrolled.

While the procurement process of the winter crops is scheduled to begin from May 1, the government has not yet fixed the rates of crops to be procured from an acre of land.

In some areas, farmers do not even idea about online registration since the process went online last year itself.

In case of Abdhut Dhurua and Durga Prasad Pradhan, residents of Lakhanpur in Jharsuguda, they have toiled hard this season to reap their produce but are forced to sell at low rates since they are unaware of the new facilities for procurement.

“The government is not interested in buying Rabi paddy so we have to sell it to local middlemen and bear losses. Of late we have come to know that Jharsuguda district has been included in the list of Rabi crop procurement districts. If there are any such facilities then we will ask the society boards and try to sell our produce,” they said.