Bargarh: Three weeks have passed since paddy procurement was started in Bargarh district, but the sales have not yet picked up pace, a report said. Only 31 per cent of the procurement target has been achieved while farmers alleged that a major portion of the paddy directly goes to the millers through traders and middlemen. Paddy is purchased for much less than the MSP, farmers alleged.
However, district civil supplies officer Rajanikant Das asserted that the paddy procurement is being carried out smoothly in the district.
Reports said procurement has been started since November 9.
The Civil Supplies department is procuring paddy through PACs at the mandis under Attabira, Godabhaga and Padmapur RMCs.
Around 122 millers have been roped in the process. The target is to procure 44.75 lakh quintals of paddy from across the district.
As for procurement, Ekadasia Sahu, a farmer of Kalapani, said, “I have harvested paddy since November 5. By the time mandis had opened, I did not receive token. It got delayed, but I sold off the paddy.”
Farmer leader Rabuindra Bisi of Attabira said that except the mandis at Attabira and Godabhaga, paddy is not being brought to other mandis.
“Traders in those areas are directly buying paddy from farmers at low price and supplying them to rice mills. But, false entry of the procurement is made into official records at those mandis,” he alleged.
Amid such allegation, Ramesh Mohapatra of Jay Kishan Andolan pointed out that the Civil Supplies department is not regularly checking the stocks of the millers. Absence of monitoring has provided a chance to millers to take advantage of the situation.
“Paddy is purchased from outside at low price and is stocked at mills. There is a need for a Vigilance investigation into such fraud, which are promoted in a systematic manner,” he added.