Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 12:
With media reports pouring in from across the state of farmers facing problems at paddy procurement centres (mandis) in the state Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today ordered for speeding up paddy procurement and immediate online payments to farmers at a high level review meeting at the state secretariat here today, informed Food Supply and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma.
“The chief minister has ordered for making immediate online payments to farmers for paddy procured from them and in the event of snags in the online system payments should be immediately done through cheques”, Dasburma told newsmen after the meeting.
The chief minister has ordered for action against unscrupulous millers, said Food Supply and Consumer Welfare minister.
Dasburma said “The chief minister has asked Food Supply department officials to make surprise visits to mandis to take stock of the situation there”.
There were reports of paddy procurement remaining stalled in Bargarh district due to an online flaw, leaving farmers who had brought their produce to these yards in a state of distress.
Paddy procurement in 118 market yards of the Regulated Market Committees (RMC) of Bargarh, Atabira and Padampur in the district was stalled due to online flaws resulting in lakhs of paddy bags lying under the open sky in the market yards of the district for 10-15 days.
Also there were reports of farmers facing difficulties due to a standoff between farmer groups and the state government over procurement quantities fixed by the government from irrigated and non-irrigated lands in the southern districts of Koraput and Nabarangpur.
While farmers were demanding procurement of 20 quintals of paddy per acre, the government has stuck to its decision of procuring 12 quintals per acre from non-irrigated land and 18 quintals from irrigated land.