Hundreds of farmers hit by the slow pace in paddy procurement are staring at huge losses as their paddy stocks are exposed to unseasonal rain in Odisha.
The State has been receiving widespread rain due to western disturbance since Tuesday. Eighteen of 28 meteorological observation stations in the State recorded rainfall on Wednesday.
The Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre has predicted light to moderate rain across the State till February 9.
Farmers were stranded with their paddy stocks at procurement centers in Kalahandi, Jagatsinghpur, Boudh and Kendrapara districts. Their paddy could not be procured due to confusion prevailing in the token system. The unseasonal rain has added to their woes as they are finding it difficult to keep their stocks at a safer place.
As of now 9,54,870 tokens were issued to farmers for selling paddy. As many as 6,69,228 farmers have sold 39,02,737 metric tonnes of paddy in the current kharif season. Last year, 38,81,886 metric tonnes of paddy was procured around this time.
However, 16 of 30 districts have reported a fall in crop procurement. “Percentage of paddy procurement achieved as on February 3 has fallen down in comparison to the progress achieved last year by this time. Particularly, paddy procurement in districts such as Angul, Balasore, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Khordha, Mayurbhanj and Nayagarh have shown negative growth with reference to last year,” said Registrar of Cooperative Societies of Odisha.
Deogarh and Gajapati districts have reported a fall of 28% in paddy procurement this year.
Upset over delay in procurement, farmers forcibly entered the conference room at Balangir where Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain was reviewing progress in paddy procurement on Thursday. The minister, however, assured that genuine farmers would not be deprived of selling their paddy.
Source – https://www.thehindu.com