Farmers allege irregularities in paddy procurement

Farmers allege irregularities in paddy procurement because of some middle men came in between farmer and the cooperative society. Some middle men purchase paddy from the genuine farmer at cheap price and register themselves as a farmer in front of cooperative society and sell the paddy at higher price.

Tension ran high at different mandis in Malkangiri and Sambalpur districts on Tuesday with a large number of farmers alleging massive irregularities in the paddy procurement process.

Raising slogans against discrepancies in the procurement of paddy crop, hundreds of farmers at MV-72 mandi in Malkangiri demanded intervention of the district administration and State Government accusing ‘middlemen involvement’ in preparing forged documents in the name of farmers.

As per the allegations, the middlemen had been registering themselves as farmers and getting identity cards from the Cooperative Societies.

“There has been an unholy nexus between the middlemen and staff of Cooperative Societies to carry out the irregularities,” alleged a farmer.

He further alleged that the middlemen are purchasing paddy from farmers at cheaper rates and selling them to cooperative societies through fake identity cards at a higher price.

“Paddy has been procured at the mandi four times this year. However, the produce of not even a single farmer have been procured yet,” alleged another farmer.

Blaming the administration for the irregularities, he said the irregularities are a result of the nexus between middlemen and officials with vested interest.

Meanwhile, the protesting farmers in Malkangiri have threatened to intensify their stir if the issue was not addressed immediately.

“The district administration should launch a probe into the irregularities and find some solution immediately. Otherwise we will be forced to stop the functioning of the mandis,” said a farmer leader.

Similarly, many farmers in Sambalpur have also alleged that the officials of the supply department have resorted to foul play to illegally register several ghost farmers leading to the irregularities.

“It is illegal to allow ghost farmers to participate in paddy procurement process as this has delayed procurement of paddy from genuine peasants,” said a farmer.

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