‘Odisha Farmers Victim Of Govt’s Faulty Paddy Procurement System’

As government and farmers face-off in Odisha, one wonders if farmers and farming can sustain in such an environment 

Bhubaneswar: They say a political party or a government may go to any extent to hide its failure and something like that seems to have happened in Odisha where the ruling-BJD is accused of concealing its failure in paddy procurement.

The token system in paddy procurement is alleged to be a faulty one allowing millers to take advantage of the delay in procurement. Farmers of western Odisha are currently suffering heavy losses but the government seems to be hell-bent to prove that its new token system will allow farmers get right price of their produce and help them in myriad ways.

Is Token System Helping the Farmers?

Paddy procurement limit of 19 quintal paddy per acre of irrigated land and 13 quintal per acre of non-irrigated land is also not suitable for farmers as their production is around 24-25 quintal and 16-17 quintal, respectively.

“What will we do with the surplus paddy? Do we have to sell it to outsiders, middlemen or the millers at lower prices? The government is telling farmers to use hybrid variety of seeds to double production but it is not even procuring what we are producing now. What will we do with the surplus and what is the motive of the government behind fooling us,” questioned a farmer.

“We are unfortunate farmers of Odisha who are victims of the faulty paddy procurement system of the State government,” said a farmer leader.

It is pertinent to mention here that a farmer having 20 acre land has reportedly got a token to sell five quintal paddy only- which means, a farmer will have to visit the mandi several times. Moreover, farmers, who are yet to harvest the crop have already got tokens – wonder, from where they will get the paddy to sell. There are reports of farmer receiving messages on November 17 confirming the date of procurement as November 16- only a time-machine can ensure that the paddy reaches the mandi.

Apart from all these allegations, farmers want to sell their produce as per their wish. They have to repay debts and also need to get ready for the next cultivation season. If the procurement gets delayed by months and they can’t sell by a particular time, it will do more harm than good.