Kendrapara, Dec 24 (LocalWire) Large number of farmers across Kendrapara district are allegedly being forced to go for distress sale of paddy, incurring huge financial losses.
“We are desperate to sell paddy crops after the end of the harvesting season. . Many farmers also hastily harvested paddy fearing imminent rain as predicated by the meteorological department,” Marichapali farmer Nalinikanta Sethi.
“It is not possible for us to carry bags of paddy to the primary agriculture cooperative society at Rajnagar, over 15 km from my village,” he said.
“Last week, I sold five quintal of paddy for Rs. 6,000. I know the government fixed Rs 1750 per quintal of FAQ (Fair Average Quality ) paddy. But some rice businessmen came to our village on Saturday to collect paddy, so we sold off our products,” he added.
The Odisha State Civil Supply Corporation (OSCSP) recently decided to procure five lakh quintal of paddy in the first phase from farmers in the district in this harvesting season.
“Later, we will procure more paddy from the farmers. We have entrusted 116 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACSs) to procure paddy from the farmers from Dec 17,” said Civil Supplies Officer (CSO) Rajanikanta Das.
“After purchasing paddy from farmers, the PACSs will hand them to the 14 rice mills in the district. The millers will provide 3,45,000 quintal of rice to us,” said Das.
“Four years back, we blacklisted two rice mills of the district for not abiding by the rules and norms of the OSCSP,” he added.
Farmers of the district harvested around ten lakh quintal of paddy. This year they planned to sell around seven lakh quintal.
“But the OSCSP decided to purchase only five lakh quintal. So, the hapless peasants have started distress sale of their paddy crops at a substantial discount to the FAQ set by the state government,” said Krusaka Sabha district unit president Umesh Chandra Singh.
“After harvesting paddy, large number of farmers are being compelled to sell off their stocked paddy at throwaway prices to meet their daily expenses. But the authority is not taking any steps to check the distress sale, ” alleged Partha Sarathi Behera of Garadapur.