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Farmers hit streets alleging kharif paddy procurement irregularities in Koraput

Jeypore: Worried over the long delay in procurement of paddy at different mandis in Koraput, farmers today resorted to protest against the concerned authorities in several panchayats of the district.

Alleging irregularities in Kharif paddy procurement, hundreds of farmers today hit streets in as many as 17 panchayats of Borigumma block. Similarly, farmers along with workers of Koraput District Congress Committee extended their support to the farmers agitation by observing a five-hour bandh in Koraput town.

Vehicular movement was hit while businesses have also shut down their shutters due to the protests.

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Farmers allege that paddy stocks are lying wasted as they have been unable to sell them at mandis due to dilly-dallying attitude of millers citing the fair average quality (FAQ) of paddy.

“The millers are either demanding us to sell our produce at low rates than the government fixed rate citing poor quality or they are asking us to give them extra paddy. Due to confusion over the FAQ issue, millers are denying to lift paddy from mandis forcing farmers to go for a distress sale,” said a farmer.

As many as 32,536 farmers have registered their names with the administration to sell paddy this Kharif season in the district. The government has targeted to procure 26.60 lakh quintals of paddy and for that the administration has set up 49 mandis in Koraput sub-division while 59 mandis have come up in Jeypore.

Meanwhile, as politics over farmer issues continues to take centre stage in Odisha after it proved to be a crucial factor affecting the Assembly elections in neighbouring states, former MP Jay Panda today stated the way farmers discontent tilted the elections in the neighbouring state, farmers in Odisha should wake up.

The former parliamentarian had earlier extended support to the mega farmers’ convention by NNKS in Bhubaneswar earlier last month.

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