Berhampur, Dec 15 (LocalWire) The much-awaited paddy procurement in Ganjam commenced from Saturday with opening up of 389 mandis (procurement centers) in different parts of the district.
The district has initially targeted to procure 29 lakh quintal of paddy this year through different agencies as against last year’s achievement of around 27.35 lakh quintal of paddy, said civil supply officer (CSO) Bishnu Prasad Supakar.
He said 331 millers have been tagged in the mandis in the first phase.
“The millers who have deposited the security amount were only registered. In the next phase some more millers are expected to deposit the security amount,” he said.
“We have made all arrangements for procurement of paddy from the farmers,” he said.
“We have formed the society-level procurement committee for smooth procurement of paddy this time,” said deputy registrar of cooperative societies (DRCS) Sushant Panda.
He said as many as 1.27 lakh farmers, including 22,000 share-croppers have been registered so far.
The farmers’ registration, which was suppose to close on December 15, was further extended to December 31, he added.
Last year, 1.11 lakh farmers registered themselves, while 57,579 of them supplied paddy to mandi.
Several farmers’ organisations, however, said producers in the district have already sold off their paddy to millers of Andhra Pradesh at distress rate due to late opening of the purchase centers.
Rushikulya Raita Mahasabha and the CPI-M backed Krushak Sabha, district unit have earlier demanded for early opening of the purchase centers to arrest distress sale of the paddy.
“Tons of paddy have already been purchased by Andhra Pradesh millers at lower rate from the district due to delay in opening of purchasing centers,” alleged Simanchal Nayak, a farmer leader.
The CSO admitted purchase of paddy from Ganjam farmers by outsiders. He, however, denied the purchase was made for lower price.