Koraput (Odisha), Nov 15 (PTI) The Koraput district administration will open 104 mandis (paddy procurement centres) to procure at least 2,146 lakh quintals of paddy from farmers during the kharif marketing season (KMS) starting December 3.
"While 76 mandis will be opened in Jeypore sub-division, the remaining will be in Koraput sub-division. The mandis will remain open till we achieve our target. We hope to get additional targets during the second phase," Koraput collector Abddal Akhtar.
Akhtar said steps have been taken to ensure that farmers are not harassed by middlemen and unauthorised agents at the mandis.
"Special squads have been formed for supervising the entire process in each mandi. If agents or middlemen are found misguiding farmers at the mandis, action will be taken," the collector said.
Officials said at least 41,736 farmers have been registered for the current KMS and till date, at least 2,000 ghost plots have been identified through satellite surveys.
"Out of a total 21,804 plots, verification of at least 7,000 plots has been completed so far. Registration of at least 451 farmers has been cancelled following identification of 2,000 ghost plots," said Pradeep Kumar Panda, civil supplies officer, Koraput.
Meanwhile, Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati has strongly opposed the practice of deducting five to seven kg of paddy per quintal from farmers on the plea of fair average quality (FAQ) and has urged the administration to procure all the paddy brought to the mandis by farmers.
"There has been an illegal practice of deducting certain kilograms of paddy citing that it is not of FAQ. If the same thing is repeated this time, it will be strongly opposed," said Bahinipati.
The administration has launched an awareness drive through loudspeakers, leaflets and posters regarding the guidelines to be followed by farmers to sell their produce at the mandis. PTI COR AAM AAM MNB