Ashok Pradhan, adviser of Sambalpur Zilla Krushak Surakhya Sangathan, said the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department (FS&CW) has decided to procure 19 quintal of paddy per acre of land in irrigated belts and 13 quintal of paddy per acre in non-irrigated areas of the district during the current kharif season.
This season, bumper paddy crop has been reported in Sambalpur. The district agriculture department had submitted a crop cutting report stating that the paddy yield rate was 22.5 quintal per acre in irrigated areas and 17 quintal in non-irrigated belts.
“If the State government does not procure all the paddy of farmers, what would the farmers do with the surplus produce?” Pradhan questioned.
The farmers came to the market yards but did not sell their paddy protesting the faulty procurement policy of the government, he said.
The FS&CW department has set a target to procure 20,82,352 quintal of paddy in the district in the first phase. As many as 53,147 farmers have registered their names to participate in the procurement process.
Chief civil supplies officer Subodh Mallik said market yards were opened in Sambalpur Sadar sub-division on Thursday but claimed he has not received any information about the decision of farmers not to sell paddy.
According to official sources, there are 54 market yards and paddy purchase centres in Sambalpur Sadar sub-division. Due to the farmers’ protest, paddy was only procured at Charpali market yard on the first day. Only 166 packets of paddy were procured from one farmer.