Berhampur, Jun 11 (PTI) Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh on Sunday claimed that farmers in Odisha were forced to go for distress sale of paddy as mandis were not functioning properly.
"Farmers in Odisha are not getting minimum support price (MSP) of paddy. They are forced to distress sale of agriculture produce as the procurement centres (mandis) do not function well," the agriculture minister said.
He said that market intervention by the state government was necessary to ensure that the farmers got the MSP for their produce.
Singh was addressing a public meeting at Digaphandi, about 30 kilometres from Berhampur, to mark the completion of three years of the Narendra Modi government.
"It is ironical that farmers in Odisha are made to sell paddy below the MSP at a time when the state government and several farmers’ organisations urged the Centre to double the MSP of paddy," he said.
The minister said that the Centre had fixed paddy MSP at Rs 1,470 per quintal for common variety and Rs 1,510 for high quality, but the farmers in the state were not getting Rs 1,510 per quintal.
Earlier, some farmers’ organisations, including Rushikulya Raita Mahasabha, a leading farmers’ body, submitted memoranda to Singh at Berhampur urging the Centre to fix MSP of paddy at Rs 3,000 per quintal.
A house committee of Odisha Assembly has already been formed on the basis of a unanimous resolution passed in the Assembly on 25 March recommending the state government to urge the Centre to increase the MSP of common paddy from Rs 1,470 per quintal to Rs 2,930. It was decided to meet the prime minister and submit a memorandum in this regard.
In a preventive measure, police detained two youth Congress leaders and released them after the union minister's departure.
Updated Date: Jun 11, 2017 21:32 PM