A day after uproar in the Assembly over farmers’ woes, the district administration has begun lifting paddy in Kalahandi.
It was seen that there were divided opinions on the online system of paddy procurement as some farmers were supporting it while some others were against the system.
A farmer of Mandal panchayat, Badri Narayan Panda said he had been a victim of distress sale for the past four years. “I cannot wait in the mandis for a long time in the winter season. In the name of FAQ, 5 to 8 kg paddy is deducted per quintal and we face loss while trading. The Government’s online system has again made the matter worse,” Panda opined.
Another farmer of Dharmagarh, Asit Kumar Khansama said he was eager to sell the produce through online system. “The token will be provided within a week and we will sell paddy at Funda Primary Agricultural Cooperative Society (PACS). Earlier, we used to sell paddy after going 5 km from home but it is available in the village itself now,” Khansama said, adding, “We hope that money will be transferred online immediately in our account soon after selling paddy.”
A farmer of Golamunda requesting anonymity said the transaction is done in pen and papers by the PACS authorities whereas practically most of the farmers sell the produce through middlemen.
“From most of the yards, middlemen lift the paddy which is transported to the miller’s point directly. Farmers don’t want to be the part of the Government system because of harassment in the PACS,” he alleged.
The administration has initially fixed a target to procure 26 lakh quintal paddy during the kharif marketing season (KMS), 2019-20 which may go up to 35-40 lakh quintal.
It has given priority for the small and marginal farmers. The district has registered 72,000 farmers. On Tuesday, PACS of Brundabahal village lifted 142 quintals of paddy from a farmer. 18 PACs out of 74 were opened on Tuesday.
The administration has provided advance token to the farmers for 32,000 quintal paddy to be procured under Dharmagarh sub-division.
Civil Supply Officer, Kalahandi, Siba Prasad Dora said farmers’ land record, bank account, Aadhaar card, eye ball testing have been recorded through biometric system. “All the PACS along with 23 SHGs will be operative in the coming days and the online system will drive away the middle men who were posing themselves as actual farmers earlier,” he said.