Jagatsinghpur, Dec 18 (LocalWire) Local farmers, including members of different Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) of Jagatsinghpur, have sought intervention of Odisha government and district administration to engage outside millers, especially from Bargarh, to procure their paddy yield.
They have threatened to intensify their movement if their demand is not met.
The farmers alleged nearly 105 Paddy Procurement Centers ( PPC) have not yet opened to procure paddy despite the deadline being Dec 7.
Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd has targeted to procure 74,411,76 metric ton of paddy from local farmers to produce 50,600 metric tons of rice in the current year.
A total of 33,443 farmers have registered their names under the Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS) for paddy procurement for 2018-19.
Last year total 31 millers, including 29 millers of Baragarh district, were engaged to lift this targeted quantity of paddy.
However, this year, no millers from outside the district have yet been engaged to lift paddy from farmers.
Only one miller of this district has been engaged to lift paddy from local farmers, said sources.
Non-availability of required number of millers has completely paralyzed the paddy procurement process due to which 105 PPCs are yet to be opened.
Local farmers are reportedly forced to sell their paddy at the cost of Rs 1000 to Rs 1200 instead of Rs 1750 as fixed by the state government.
Hundreds of farmers, led by farmer leaders Bichitrananda Swain, Rabindra Rout and Kelu Sahoo, submitted a memorandum to the commissioner-cum-secretary of civil supplies and collector in this regard.
Board members of many PACs of Biridi block made a resolution and sent their proposal to the state government and higher authorities of civil supplies department.
They said: “‘Last year, nearly 29 millers from Baragarh district, were pressed into action and they lifted targeted paddy before the stipulated period.”
“Millers from coastal district have deposited only Rs 10 to 15 lakh towards security at civil supplies department to lift paddy, while millers from Baragarh district had deposited more than Rs 1 crore towards security deposit as result lifting of paddy from farmers were completed peacefully and there were no distress sale because 98% farmers had sold off their paddy through PPCs,” the farmers said.
District Civil Supplies Officer Dillip Kumar Patra said: “The department has received proposals from farmers to engage Baragarh district millers. We have sent them to higher authorities for consideration.”