Sajanagad: Paddy distress sale has allegedly become a cause of concern for the farmers in Nilagiri area of Balasore. Upset over the issue, scores of farmers led by former MLA Chittaranjan Sarangi launched a hunger strike outside the Sub-Collector’s office Saturday. The strike was supported by Niabanirman Krushak Sangathan, former MLA Akhaya Acharya, some CPI leader and local tribals.
The peasant leaders alleged that the state government has made provision of paddy procurement to ensure farmers get the MSP of their produce, but some millers in Nilagiri are not cooperating. They are misleading the farmers saying that targets and coupons have not come, farmers observed.
Moreover, farmers are told that their quota of paddy has been over. As a result, thousands of farmers have stocked their paddy in their houses waiting to dispose them off.
In the current situation, poor farmers are selling their paddy to traders at throwaway prices to meet their emergency needs.
The local traders are selling the paddy to traders from Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
The farmers frustrated over the issue, while traders are making fast buck.
Nilagiri BDO Ramdas Tudu, who is in-charge of Nilagiri Sub-Collectorate held talks with agitating farmers on the issues.
The farmers have warned of intensifying their agitation in coming days if things are not sorted out.
On the other hand, the BDO has assured the farmers that paddy will be procured till the stock exhausts, procurement on serial basis, and to stop paddy reduction during weighing.
The farmers withdrew their hunger strike after the BDO’s assurances.