Drought hit Odisha fails to meet rice need

Bhubaneswar: Rice procurement in Orissa fell by about 7 lakh metric ton from the set target during the last kharif season due to drought and unseasonal rains, official sources said today.

While a target of procuring 32 lakh metric tons of rice had been set during 2010-11 kharif season, 25 lakh metric tons of rice could be lifted during the period, food and civl supplies secretary M S Padhi told the state-level paddy procurement meet here. There was drop in rice production during 2010-11 kharif season was less as 17 districts were hit by drought and unseasonal rain during harvest time in December, 2010, he said.

This year too there could be less production of rice due to drought and floods, Padhi said adding the producement target would be set at the next meeting. The state government has prepared a draft paddy procurement policy which would be made public after approval of the cabinet, he said. The Centre had announced minimum support price of Rs 1080 crore per quintal of paddy, while that for better quality paddy was fixed at Rs 1110