By Mayank Bhusan Pani
Belying the administration’s tall claims of smooth procurement in Bargarh, lakhs of paddy bags are yet to be lifted from the market yards of Attabira block in the district. The delay in procurement is attributed to faulty monitoring practices of the officials concerned. Farmer leader Ramesh Mahapatra said the officials of Attabira market yards are adopting the wrong method to procure paddy. Instead of procuring paddy on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis, the produce is collected chronologically as per the token dates.
“If a farmer has a token issued on today’s date, he is being told that his paddy cannot be procured as those with tokens issued on earlier dates are yet to sell their produce. As a result, farmers are being forced to dump their paddy bags in the open at market yards and wait for their turn,” claimed Mahapatra.
He further said even after dumping their produce at the market yards, farmers are not sure if their paddy will be lifted anytime soon. “They will have to wait till farmers having tokens of previous dates sell their paddy. This is forcing many farmers to sell their paddy directly to the millers.”
On the other hand, farmers waiting for their turn are facing arbitrary deduction of paddy on the pretext of quality. “The officials are deliberately creating such a situation and forcing the farmers to surrender before the millers,” Mahapatra alleged.
Sources said over 2.5 lakh paddy bags are currently lying unsold at mandis under Attabira regulated market committee (RMC). In the entire Bargarh district, the maximum procurement is recorded in Attabira RMC which collects paddy from the entire Attabira and Bheden blocks. Hence, the procurement process in Attabira starts around a week earlier than in other blocks. This year, paddy procurement in Attabira began on May 6.
On Tuesday, farmers staged a stir protesting the delay in lifting their paddy from the Attabira market yard. Following the protest, the local assistant civil supplies officer (ACSO) held a discussion with the agitating farmers and assured them of necessary action.
ACSO Dibyasingh Badamali said every market yard has been given a daily limit for procurement. As all the farmers have harvested their crops, the inflow of paddy to the market yards has increased recently. “We are gradually increasing the procurement limit to clear the unsold paddy,” he added.
Over 2.5 lakh paddy bags are currently lying unsold at mandis under Attabira RMC
On Tuesday, farmers staged a stir protesting the delay in lifting their paddy
Maximum procurement is recorded in Attabira RMC which collects paddy from two blocks.
This article has been republished from The New Indian Express