Farmers in Ganjam threaten to hit streets over delay in paddy procurement

Berhampur: Allegations of irregularities in paddy procurement have cropped up in Ganjam district. Farmers are a worried lot owing to the paddy procurement delay in various blocks in the district.

Farmers alleged the Ganjam district, which is the constituency of State Cooperation Minister Surjya Narayan Patro, reflects the failure of implementation of various government schemes.

The harvest has been lying in open for the last one month in Rangeimunda, Digapahandi and Sanakhemundi blocks in the district. Moreover, farmers are spending sleepless nights to guard them as no millers have come forward to take paddy from the mandis.

“Our paddy stocks are lying in the open as no millers have come forward to take paddy from the mandis. We have a constant fear that any change in climate will certainly affect the harvested crop. We are facing a tough time due to the delay in paddy procurement” alleged a farmer Jagannath Behera.

“The mandis are not yet operational and there is no place for safe storage of paddy. Tonnes of paddy brought for sale by farmers from distant villages are lying here and there,” rued another farmer Maguni Nayak.

On the other hand, owing to the delay in paddy procurement process farmers are forced to go for distress sale. They are selling their crops at a lower price to farmers and middlemen of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

However, the farmers have threatened to launch protest under the aegis of Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS), if the issue is not resolved at the earliest.

“While millers complain that the State government is not paying them, the paddy growers are alleging that millers are not lifting the paddy citing various reasons. Though the government is trying to gain mileage through implementation of various schemes such as Kalia scheme, farmers are deprived of their basic rights,” said President of Daspur Samabaya Samiti Brajamohan Nayak.