Koraput farmers cry foul over delay in paddy procurement

Jeypore: Farmers in Koraput are a worried lot now over the delay in procurement of paddy at different mandis in the district. They have alleged that the paddy growers are forced to go for distress sale due to a nexus between the millers and procurement agencies.

As per their allegations, so far only 243 quintals of paddy have been procured despite the fact that the administration began paddy procurement from November 6. For this Kharif season, the administration has targeted to procure 26.60 lakh quintals of paddy, said sources.

As many as 32,536 farmers have registered their names with the administration to sell paddy this Kharif season.

“Though the process began on November 6, paddy has not been procured. And it is either due to the administration’s lackadaisical attitude or may be due to pressure from millers. Besides, millers are dilly-dallying the procurement citing the fair average quality (FAQ) of paddy,” alleged Manoj Patra, a farmer.

Expressing similar views, Secretary of Krushak Kalyan Manch, Koraput, Nagendra Pradhan said, “It seems there is a nexus between millers and procurement agencies. Over the FAQ of paddy, the millers are denying to lift paddy from mandis forcing farmers to go for a distress sale.”

Meanwhile, Koraput sub-collector Lokanath Dalabehera stated that a discussion was held between all parties including farmers and millers and the issue will be resolved soon.

On the FAQ of paddy, the Sub-collector said only sample test of the paddy will be undertaken during the procurement.

The administration has set up 49 mandis in Koraput sub-division while 59 mandis have come up in Jeypore.