Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: In a major initiative, the Food Supplies and Consumers Welfare Department of the Odisha government has finally relaxed the norms for registration of all sharecroppers for paddy procurement this year and clarified that they should be allowed to register at the Primary Agricultural Co-operative Society (PACS) even if they do not have the consent letters of the Record of Rights (RoR) holder or letter of the Sarpanch.

While the deadline of registration is September 15, the department is now on a mission mode to ensure registrations as quickly as possible.

As per the directions of the government, the PACS should motivate the sharecroppers, small and marginal farmers for registration and participation in paddy procurement operation.

The Registrar of the Cooperative Societies in this regard has shot letters to all the divisional deputy registrars and central cooperative bank secretaries stressing that the PACS should encourage and give priority to the sharecroppers, small and marginal farmers and members of JLG groups involved in farming, in the registration process for Kharif procurement season.

As per reports, till now only 1,815 PACS have begun registration while 691 PACS are yet to register the farmers.

In comparison to last year, the registration this year is underway on a mission mode to achieve new farmer enrolment/renewal of farmers-target of 33% enhancement within September 15, 2018. However, only 1% of new farmers have registered till now while only 11% of farmer registrations have been renewed, reports added.

In view of this, the state government has directed that steps should be taken for commencement of online farmer registration in 793 PACS within two days failing which disciplinary action against delinquent officers will be taken.

“We have provisions for enrolment of all farmers and we are even providing loans to them. If we find any one delaying the process of registration, necessary action will be taken,” said Cooperation Minister, Surya Narayan Patro.

While 11,20,000 farmers had registered during Kharif registration for Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2017-18, this year around 1,32,512 have registered so far.

This apart, the letter of the Registrar of the Cooperative Societies also stated that the registration in the Kharif 2018-19 procurement season needs urgent sensitization and an awareness programme is to be chalked out in the local PACS, Cooperative Banks, Block Offices, Tehsil Offices by proper display of flexi banners and display boards.