Balasore: Farmers in Jamudiha panchayat under Nilagiri block in this district are a worried lot as they have been forced to resort to distress sale of paddy due to delay in procurement by the millers, a report said.
While the delay has forced many farmers to go for distress sale, there are others who are regularly making rounds of the mandis (procurement centres) after stacking their stocks there.
Farmers from the area met Collector Ramesh Chandra Rout at his grievance cell and lodged a complaint. They urged him for an early solution to their problem.
They demanded immediate procurement of paddy and an end to black-marketing of the produce failing which resentment among them might snowball into a major agitation, farmers Deepak Kumar Ghosh, Bhabesh Chandra Sahu, Nilambar Pradhan, Bijay Sethy, Kartik Chandra Rout and Manmath Mohanty warned. They alleged that middlemen are ruling the roost in the mandis with the officials acting as mute spectators.
The farmers also demanded opening of paddy procurement sub-centre at Jamudiha along with Sajanagad mandi to facilitate quick disposal of the paddy stocks.
The Collector received their application and handed it over to the district civil supplies officer for action at his end.
The farmers alleged that they had registered themselves online to sell paddy at the government approved rate. Many farmers even carried their paddy stocks and stored it in mandis hoping their turn might come soon.
They have making several rounds to the mandi under the Sajanagad society, but each time officials turn them away citing they are yet to receive serial numbers.
However, mandi officials in connivance with middlemen have managed to procure paddy from outside to achieve the target, the framers alleged.
This has hit the farmers most as they have facing a lot of harassment in the name of paddy procurement. The worst sufferers are small and marginal farmers.
Sushil Jena, marketing officer of Nilagiri block, said the problem has arose as the miller appointed to procure paddy from Mitrapur and Kansh societies has turned away due to some reasons.
He, however, ruled out of receiving any complaint from farmers facing problem in paddy procurement in Sajanagad society. He will conduct a probe and submit a report to his higher-ups if he receives any complaint, Jena said.