Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 15:
BJP Odisha chief spokesperson Suresh Pujari on Monday alleged that the State Government has failed miserably in procuring paddy in western Odisha and had left farmers at the mercy of millers.
Pujari said the farmers were deprived of their rights due to an unholy nexus between the millers and the State Government. The procurement policy by the State to purchase only 12 quintals of paddy per an acre is completely illogical as the farmers harvest 22 to 32 quintals of paddy per acre, he added.
“If the State procures only 12 quintals/acre, what the farmers will do with the rest 10 to 20 quintals of paddy/acre?” the BJP leader asked and then went on provide the answer himself. “Obviously, they will go for distress selling as they need to repay their loans.”
This year, Pujari said, the State not only delayed the procurement process by 10-15 day,s but also left the process to the whims of the millers by not engaging Government agencies. The unwanted delay in paddy procurement has badly affected farmers’ preparation for Rabi crop, he added.
Pujari alleged that no Government official was playing as mediator between the farmers and millers as a result of which the latter were exploiting the farmers by finding faults with the paddy’s on the grounds of grade, FAQ and other things to deny the stipulated price to the farmers.
“Cheating of farmers in paddy procurement is worser than the chit fund scam,” said Pujari and termed it as manmade disaster and crime at the hand of the State Government. He held the State Government, Revenue Department, Civil Supply and Consumer Welfare Department, district administration and rice millers responsible for cheating the farmers of the State.