Koraput: Farmers of Koraput district of Odisha are on a warpath alleging irregularities at the paddy procurement centres.
The farmers, who staged a demonstration yesterday, also alleged that the mandis lack basic facilities like threshing yard, water, rest shed, loading and unloading arrangements.
"Of the total paddy procured at a mandi, the regulated marketing committee (RMC) takes two percent of the total amount to provide basic facilities there," claimed Narendra Kumar Pradhan, secretary of Zilla Krushaka Kalyana Manch (ZKKM), which led the agitation.
He said farmers coming from far-flung areas to sell their produce are not provided night shelter and the mandis do not have sufficient space to stock paddy. Polythene sheets are also not provided to farmers to cover their paddy sacks.
"While procurement agencies should bear loading and unloading costs of paddy and transport it to the mill, farmers are being forced to bear the costs," he alleged.
"Middlemen at mandis are a big nuisance. The administration should take adequate steps to prevent entry of middlemen into mandis," he added.
The association has submitted a memorandum to the district administration for an early solution. "Problems of farmers will be looked into and necessary action taken to ensure that they don`t face any problem at the mandis," said Collector (Koraput), Sachin Jadav.