Cotton farmers in Odisha distressed over lack of ‘mandi’

Boudh: Cotton farmers in Boudh district are facing problems owing to the absence of a mandi which is forcing them to sell their harvest at low prices to middlemen.

This year large number of farmers cultivated cotton in around 865 hectares of land. However, lack of a mandi to sell the produce has left the farmers in distress, sources said.

“There is no place to sell the cotton harvest. We need a mandi to get right price for our produce. Currently, we are forced to sell our produce to middlemen. This year the produce is affected because of pests,” Jatindra Mishra, a cotton farmer said.

Another farmer Kartika Karna said “I cultivated cotton in 5 acre and as there is no cotton mandi in the area, we are not getting the right prices for the produce.”

Meanwhile, farmers alleged that repeated requests to the administration for setting up a mandi have fallen on deaf ears.

On the other hand, the district collector has given assurance to take steps in this regard.

“A lot of farmers have registered with us and the rest have been told to get registered. There is a requirement of 20,000 quintals of output to set up a mandi while the total produce now is around 10,300 quintals. Still then, we are making efforts to set up a mandi in the district for the benefit of cotton farmers,” Boudh district Collector, Sitanshu Kumar Rout said.