Aradi: After waiting for an inordinately long time to sell their produce, farmers have reportedly become disillusioned and have lost their faith in procurement centres and have started selling their paddy to traders at throwaway prices in various parts of Dhamnagar and Tihidi blocks of Bhadrak district.
The farmers are blaming the present situation on the apathetic attitude of authorities when it comes to timely procurement.
Even as the government has been claiming that farmers will get appropriate remuneration for their produce, the latter have resorted to distress sale of paddy instead of depending on procurement centres. Farmers say various guidelines like online registration for selling and then awaiting government approval for days together has turned problematic for them.
According to reports, distress sale of paddy is in full swing at Raipur and other panchayats of Dhamnagar block, and villages of Shyamsundarpur panchayat under Tihidi block.
Traders are making profits with farmers finding themselves compelled to sell their produce for anything between Rs 900 to Rs 1000. Farmers have expressed displeasure over low price of the paddy. They demanded simplification of procurement guidelines and provision of adequate storage facilities in cooperative societies.
Farmers say that even after selling their paddy at procurement centres, they have to keep a watch on their paddy for three to four days. Besides, they have to wait for months to receive payments, they added.
Muktikant Sahu, a farmer of Bankasahi, said, “I don’t want to say anything about the mess at the procurement centres. We are compelled to sell our paddy to traders for `900 per quintal.”
Annirudha Mallick, a farmer of Shyamsunadrpur, said, “Procurement centres are nothing than mere eyewash. We rather sell the paddy to traders for Rs 900 to 950 per quintal.”
“In the current year, traders have purchased thousands of quintals of paddy from our area. Farmers have to resort to distress sale for lack of accountability of cooperative societies and officials apathy,” rued Umkant Rout, a farmer of Kantika. PNN