BHAWANIPATNA: Even as the farmers of Kalahandi district have been sustaining loss due to delay in Dalua (rabi) paddy procurement, the district Agriculture department and Primary Agricultural Co-operative Societies (PACS) have failed to speed up the process this year.
During the current season, there is an apprehension of considerable delay in paddy procurement as only 12 rice mills have qualified to lift paddy from 55 paddy procurement centres of PACS.
Even as the district level Paddy Procurement Committee set a target to procure 35 lakh quintals of paddy at a meeting on May 14, no target from State Government has been communicated to the district.
Sources said during the current season, the paddy procurement will be made through 55 centres of PACS. As per norms, only 12 rice mills have qualified to lift paddy from the procurement centres for milling.
At the Paddy Procurement Committee meeting, it was decided that the rice mills, which have achieved 50 per cent of target in the last kharif procurement season, will participate in the current Dalua paddy procurement season. If the rice delivery target is relaxed by 25 per cent, 43 mills can lift paddy from the centres, said an official of Agriculture department.
The registration of the farmers was started on Monday at the paddy procurement centres of the PACS and by the time the process over, the procurement will be considerable delayed. Out of 55 procurement centres, only 19 have permanent shed and 32 have pucca pindi (platform) without shed. Others are located in open field.
In previous years, the paddy stock of the farmers dumped in the open yards was damaged due to pre-monsoon rain. This year also, if the stock is not lifted by fastening the procurement process, the farmers are slated to sustain loss again.
A district official said the Regulated Market Committee (RMC) has been asked to procure adequate number of tarpaulin of different sizes to protect the paddy stock in open yards from rain.