Farmer-miller dispute paralyses paddy procurement in Nuapada

Nuapada: Farmers in Nuapada district have alleged that dilly-dallying of rice millers and lackadaisical attitude of the administration has virtually paralyzed the paddy procurement process in the district.

According to sources, the millers are demanding cuts/concessions during procurement citing that paddy do not meet the fair average quality (FAQ) norms. Sources said that tonnes of paddy brought for sale by farmers from distant villages are lying outside the mandis and the farmers are spending sleepless nights to guard them.

The mandis in Dharambandha and Moharadihi are paralyzed since 2 days due to the dispute between the millers and farmers. As per allegations, the millers are demanding a reduction of 2-2.5 kilograms of paddy per quintal citing fair average quality (FAQ) norms.

“The millers are demanding 2-kg cut per quintal, but after we told them that we could only allow 1-kg deduction, they are not willing to procure,” alleged a farmer Thumuklal Debangan.

“My harvest is lying outside the mandi and millers are harassing us,” said another farmer Kapur Singh Majhi.

“After complaints, the millers came and procured some of it. They are demanding more cuts and forcing us to sell our paddy in lower prices,” said Om Prakash Kalar, President of Dharambandha Primary Agricultural Cooperative Society.

On the other hand, the District Supplies Officer has refuted the allegations made by the farmers and said 1.24 lakh quintal paddy have already been lifted from the mandis.

“Cuts/concessions are not being done anywhere. Paddy from all the mandis is being lifted and all the problems have been sorted out. Out of 61 mandis, 47 mandis are functioning properly in the district” said Ashok Kumar Das, District Supplies Officer.