With only around 54 percent of target paddy procured in the last ninety days in the State, will Odisha be going to miss the targeted procurement number in the Kharif season?
Though the State government has fixed a target of 63 LMT paddy to be procured in the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS), Odisha could procure a total of 33.9 lakh metric tonne (LMT) paddy as of Jan end of this year. The Kharif procurement season in the State will end on March 31.
It seems the State could procure around 34 LMT or around 54 percent of the targeted paddy crop in the last 92-days. However, in order to realise the target, the State machinery has to procure around 30LMT in the remaining 59 days.
Why the comparative numbers reveal a slow pace of paddy procurement in the State has been revealed below.
Odisha Vs Chhattisgarh
The western neighbour of the Odisha has set a target to 105 LMT of paddy during the current Kharif Marketing Season. The achievement till the end of January has been a massive 88 percent (87.6%) or over 92LMT.
The neighbouring state had last year procured a total of 92 LMT paddy. But this KMS, with around 59 days left, Chhattisgarh has overshot the last KMS procurement quantity to touch 92.01 LMT as of Jan 31, 2022.
In contrast, Odisha had procured a total of 77.33 LMT (including Rabi paddy) in the 2020-21 procurement season. This year the procurement is not even half of the last year's procured quantity.
Paddy Procurement And Panchayat Polls
History is evident, the paddy procurement in the State took a severe beating during the poll years. Consider the following facts given below. Procurement season starts in November and ends in March in State for the Kharif crops.
- Odisha paddy procurement in 2011-12 (Panchayat Poll year), the total procurement was only 42.10LMT.
- The procured paddy in the following year 2012-13 had jumped to 53.5LMT
- In the year 2013-14, the procured paddy stood at 41.75. The fall is attributed to cyclone Phailin and followed by the strongest deep depression that brought large scale floods in the coastal region in November affecting heavy crop loss.
- In the year 2014-15, the procurement rose to 50.09 LMT.
- The quantity of paddy procured in 2014-15 in the State remained at around 50.29 LMT.
- In the year 2016-17, the quantity of paddy procured in the State was at 54.18 LMT.
- However, in the year 2017-18, the procurement nosedived to 49.06 LMT. The year saw Panchayat polls in the State.
- In the year 2018-19, the quantity of paddy procured zoomed to 65.41 LMT.
- In the year 2019-20, despite Cyclone Fani and Bulbul hitting the State, the procurement of paddy stood higher at 70.57 LMT.
- In 2020-21, the procurement had risen further to 77.33 LMT.
- In 2021-22, till the end of January, only 33.9LMT paddy was procured in the State.
The above number-crunching shows how Panchayat polls are proving a disaster for farmers in the State. Be it 2011-12 or 2017-18, the procurement of paddy had been lower in the State.
Farmers At Loss
As per the data available with State Food and Civil Supplies Department, till the Jan end of this year, a total of around 6.9 lakh farmers have benefitted from the State's procurement drive.
Last year, the total farmers benefitted from State's paddy purchase at MSP stood at 13.94 lakh as against 11.6 lakh in 2019-20.
Panchayat Poll Worse Than Natural Disaster?
A glance at the data available shows in the year 2017-18 (the Panchayat poll year), the number of farmers who availed sale of paddy at MSP was 7.98 lakh as against 10.7 lakh in 2015-16 and 11.01 lakh in 2016-17.
Even in the natural disaster hit year of 2018-19 (Phailin + Deep Depression), a total of 10.1 lakh farmers have availed paddy sale at MSP. In 2019-20 and 2020-21, the number of farmers who benefitted stood at 11.6 and 13.9 lakh, respectively.
The above numbers clearly show how the Panchayat polls prove worse than the 'natural disasters' for farmers in Odisha.
Chhattisgarh Torpedoes Odisha
Despite a smaller state, neighbouring Chhatisgarh had given the MSP benefit (with bonus) to 11.11 lakh farmers in 2015-16.
In Odisha, the year saw MSP benefit reaching only 10.7 lakh farmers.
Depicting a rocket growth, in 2021-22 (till Jan end), a whopping 21.05 lakh farmers in Chhattisgarh had sold their paddy at MSP plus bonus.
The number in Odisha stands at poor 6.9 lakh. While Odisha could see the benefitted farmers count up by around 30 percent between 2015-16 and 2020-21, Chhattisgarh recorded a rocket speed growth of around 85 percent during the period.