Paddy Procurement Begins In Odisha, Farmers Stare At Uncertain Future Over Token System

Malkangiri/Nuapada: Odisha government introduced the centralised token system to ease the process of paddy procurement in the state. However, farmers in several parts of the State including Malkangiri and Nuapada are left in lurch as they are confused regarding the token system.

As a result, the farmers in Malkangiri are forced to sell their produce to middlemen from neighbouring States including Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh at lower rates.

As per reports, there has been sharp drop in the registrations as only 30,400 farmers have registered themselves against the total registration which stood at 35,400 in Malkangiri last year. On the other hand, many of the farmers are allegedly going for distress sale.

This was evident after five trucks were recently seized in Chhattisgarh. But, civil supplies department officials informed that they have no such information while the situation is being closely monitored.

A farmer alleged, “As we have not received tokens yet, many farmers are giving paddy stocks to middlemen who then traffic it to Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.”

“We have directed Large Area Multi-Purpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPS) to prepare a list of farmers who are ready with their stocks. We will issue tokens immediately for procurement,” said Manoj Pradhan, ACSO.

“We haven’t received any information about paddy being trafficked to other States. If we detect any irregularities, we will take strict action as per instructions from the Collector,” added Pradhan.

The farmers of Komana block in Nuapada are yet to harvest their crops. However, tokens have been issued while the farmers have been asked to bring their paddy stock to mandis on a particular date. On the other hand, the farmers who are ready with stock are yet to be issued tokens.

Owing to such irregularities, the farmers are demanding withdrawal of token system and paddy procurement through the old system.

“Even though we are working for development of farmers through the newly introduced system, they are alleging that they are yet to harvest crops,” informed Balabh Dalapati, Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS).