Bhubaneswar, Jan 8:
Denying allegations of large scale distress sale of paddy in the state repeatedly made by the opposition, the Odisha government has claimed that it has taken a series of measures to prevent it.
“There is no instance of large scale distress sale by the farmers in the state of Odisha. The state government has taken various steps to avoid distress sale of paddy such as opening of maximum purchase centres, involvement of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), women self help groups (WSHGs) and pani panchayats in paddy procurement operation as commission agent of state procuring agencies,” said the Agriculture department in a reply to the Commission for Agricultural Cost & Prices (CACP), which is preparing the price policy for Kharif crop 2014-15.
Before preparing the policy, the CACP had enquired whether there were recent instances of large scale distress sale by the farmers and wanted to know the steps taken by the state government to arrest such distress sale.
Replying to a question on details of relaxation in Fair Average Quality (FAQ) specification with or without value cuts sought by the state to Centre, the department informed the CACP that even though the Centre had been requested for FAQ relaxation, no reply has been received till date.
The department has informed the CACP that the government has opened a total of 2802 purchase centres across the state including 2448 of Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC), 116 of Marketing Federation Ltd (Markfed) and 75 of National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed). Besides, Food Corporation of India (FCI) has established 20 centres whereas Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation of Odisha Ltd (TDCC) has set up 43 centres.
“Farmers have to register with the societies at least seven days in advance along with the proposed quantity of FAQ paddy to be sold, proof of identity and savings bank account of any commercial, rural or cooperative bank. The societies will allot date to the farmers to bring FAQ paddy to paddy procurement centres so as to regulate the flow of paddy,” said the department.