Bhadrak: Even though procurement centres are open in Tihidi area of Bhadrak, traders from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh are buying paddy from state farmers through their agents here, a report said.
The selling of paddy to outside traders points to farmers’ displeasure on existing procurement system.
Thousands of quintals of paddy are being transported out of the state everyday while the Civil Supplies department has turned a blind to such illegal paddy purchase from Andhra traders.
The fact came to the fore Monday when local tehsildar detained a paddy-laden truck at Tehsil Chhak. The paddy was being transported to Andhra Pradesh.
Later, the truck was handed over to police.
Tehsildar Ramesh Chandra Panda has directed the Civil Supplies inspector to look into the matter. The truck driver and helper were detained. Locals alleged that the seizure of the truck is just the tip of an iceberg while truckloads of paddy are being sent to Andhra Pradesh from Tihidi area on a daily basis.
This has been going on for the last 15 days despite opening of the mandis.
Surprisingly, why farmers prefer to sell paddy even at Rs 500 less than the government MSP to Andhra traders has raised many eyebrows, pointing to a distress sale.
Locals accused the Civil Supplies officials of not taking action against such illegal paddy procurements by outside traders. It was alleged that farmers are upset over some technical problems in queue and registration. They are impatient and started selling their paddy to Andhra farmers at a lower price. The Andhra traders have engaged middlemen to get paddy from farmers.
The government has fixed Rs 1,750 per quintal of paddy, but Andhra traders are buying it for Rs 1,100 and 1,200 per quintal. Poor farmers do not wait in queue to sell their paddy to the government when they are to meet their daily expenses.