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Bizarre: ‘Online flaw’ stalls paddy procurement in Odisha’s rice bowl

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bargarh, Dec 10:

Procurement of paddy by the Odisha government remains stalled in Bargarh district due to an online flaw, leaving farmers who have brought their produce to these yards in a state of distress.

paddy procurement

While paddy procurement is on in 118 market yards of the Regulated Market Committees (RMC) of Bargarh, Atabira and Padampur in the district, lakhs of paddy bags lying under the open sky in the market yards of the district for the last 10-15 days due to the problem.

Data reveals that 54,825 paddy bags are lying in the market yard at Atabira, 61, 625 in Padmapur and 7,944 in Bargarh.

“I am at my wit’s end. I can’t figure out who is going to procure our produce. We have brought our produce to the yard and have been waiting; they have a laptop and they say it’s not functioning.  When we ask them who should we contact for procuring our paddy, they say they don’t know. We have brought our paddy here ten days ago and are still waiting for it to be procred,” said a farmer Jharu Pradhani.

“We don’t know who we can sell our paddy to. We have brought it here and have been waiting. While they are procuring it from some farmers, they are not procuring it from others. Last year, they were procuring from farmers who had farmer’s identity cards. This time it’s different.  Neither the staff here nor the secretary of primary agriculture cooperative society (PACS) is able to tell anything,” said another farmer Amulya Swain.

District Supplies Officer Bargarh Ramakant Ranasingh said that there were initial hiccups with online applications at some places, but the matter had been resolved and the procurement process has been speeded up.

“There were some errors in online registrations at some places. It has been corrected and we have already procured about 10 lakh quintals of paddy in the district. We have also speeded up the process of procurement of paddy lying at different market yards,” said Ranasingh.  About 80,000 to one lakh bags of paddy is lying in the yards to be procured, he added.