Orissa Krushak Sabha (OKS) has decided to hold protest demonstration in front of the State Assembly on November 26 to protest against government's apathy towards farmers.

Farmers from all over the State would take part in this protest demonstration. Speaking to newsmen in the city on Thursday, vice-president of OKS, Jagannath Mishra said this demonstration would be aimed at rise in cases of farmers' suicides due to debt burden in Orissa and other burning issues like irregularities in paddy procurement.

President of Ganjam unit of the OKS Kailash Sadangi also added that they are also planning to hold a mass demonstration in front of the office of the Ganjam district Collector on November 30 demanding eradication of corrupt practices and irregularities in paddy procurement process. The OKS activists continue to allege that during last season large scale irregularities had occurred during the paddy procurement process in Orissa including Ganjam the home district of the Chief Minister.

Norms

Mr. Sadangi alleged that till now the administration and the Civil Supplies department did not seem to have learned anything from the past year. The OKS activists alleged that the norms of Fair Average Quality (FAQ) were being misused. “The paddy which gets rejected in Orissa at the whims of officials quoting FAQ, is usually transported to adjoining Andhra Pradesh to get passed as per the FAQ standards there. It hints that the FAQ standard is being misused for the benefit of corrupt millers, black-marketeers and dishonest officials,” Mr Sadangi said. The OKS demanded the State government to open up mandi for paddy procurement in all the panchyats and collect paddy directly from the farmers.

The OKS leaders also felt that it was high time for the Orissa government to put some curbs on the booming activity of dubious private finance and micro-finance companies in rural areas of the State . They felt these organisations had become neo-exploiters of peasants. They also wanted the State government to provide agricultural loans to farmers from cooperative banks at subsidised interest rate of three per cent as prescribed by the Swaminathan Commission. They also demanded immediate release of two grassroot level workers of the Krushak Sabha from Sorada area in Ganjam district who have been arrested recently on charges of alleged Maoist links.