Bhubaneswar: Cutting across party lines, MLAs in the Odisha Assembly on Wednesday expressed deep concern over the “gross mismanagement” in the paddy procurement during the Kharif season.
The issue was raised by senior BJD MLA and former minister Bhupinder Singh from Kalahandi district, who said the farmers faced difficulties in selling their paddy.
“The farmers in my constituency have received tokens very late for paddy procurement. Some farmers want to sell surplus paddy, but are not getting the opportunity,” he said.
Singh also said as the agents of the millers turn up late at the mandis, the farmers find it difficult to sell their produce. Since this year’s paddy production is good, the government should take steps for paddy procurement effectively.
BJD member and deputy government whip Rohit Pujari said the farmers face difficulty in mandis due to the token system mandatory to sale paddy.
BJD MLA Kishore Kumar Mohanty also expressed concern about the “mismanagement” in paddy procurement and urged the government to take adequate measures in this regard and mitigate the suffering of the agrarian community.
BJP MLA Jayanarayan Mishra said although the concerned minister and the secretary of the department have been directed to take adequate measures to sort out the problem, nothing has been done so far in this regard.
“The government introduced the token system forcibly which is causing difficulty for the farmers,” Mishra said, adding that heaps of paddy at all the mandis speaks about the “mismanagement”.
Leader of the Opposition Pradipta Kumar Nayak of BJP blamed the state government for the “miseries” of farmers. He said a huge quantity of paddy have been damaged due to lack of storing facilities in mandis.
Congress legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra said farmers face difficulty as there is no mechanism to know the quality of paddy they bring to mandis for sale.
Speaker SN Patro in a ruling asked the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister to take up the matter with MLAs and make a statement in the House on the alleged mismanagement in paddy procurement.
Minister RP Swain, however, said that the state government has so far purchased 43 lakh metric tonne of paddy. “We have made arrangement to extend the last date for facilitating farmers to sell their surplus paddy,” the minister said.