Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Nabarangpur/Bhubaneswar, Feb 23:
Hundreds of farmers in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district headquarters town, led by the Congress, blocked roads for nearly five hours by keeping paddy on the road to highlight the plight of farmers in the district who are forced to distress sell their produce due to gross irregularities in mandis (market yards) run by government agencies.
Hundreds of farmers of the district, led by former Congress MP from Nabarangpur Pradip Majhi, Congress MLA from Dabugam Bhujabal Majhi and former MLA Sadan Naik, staged a rally shouting anti-government slogans and submitted a memorandum to the sub collector.
The threee Congress leaders were among ghe hundreds of protesting farmers who were taken into custody by the police.
“Due to the faulty paddy procurement policy of the government, farmers, are unable to sell their paddy. Those who have sold their produce are yet to get their payments. The paddy procurement policy of the government is on a complete mess. Ten lakh quintals of paddy is lying in threshing floors after being harvested. Bogus entries have been made by cooperative societies for those ten quintals of paddy. Situation in Nabarangpur district is precarious,” Pradip Majhi told reporters.
In Bhubaneswar, Food Supply Minister Sanjay Dasburma responded to the Congress led protest by announcing that his department will procure all the paddy lying in different mandis in Nabarangpur district.
“I want to assure you; today I am myself reviewing the procurement of paddy in Nabarangpur district. I want to assure you that whatever paddy is lying in any of the mandis in Nabarangpur district will be procured by the Food Supply department, state administration and the district administration. I will take whatever steps will be required to streamline farmers’ registration in the distraict,” said Dasburma.