Kharif paddy procurement at 3000 mandis from Nov 15

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Saturday decided to open 3000 mandis for procurement of kharif paddy beginning from November 15.

The Food Supply and Consumer Welfare department has advised the farmers to directly sell their paddy at the procurement centre (mandi) instead of selling to the millers.

Briefing newsmen after attending a meeting of the farmers’ representatives and millers from all districts to streamline the paddy procurement system, in the state capital here, Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Sanjay Dasburma said it was decided that the department, which had implemented paddy procurement automation system (P-PAS) in 60 blocks last year, has decided to extend the scheme to 100 additional blocks this year.

With regard to payment to the farmers, he said the farmers, who have sold their paddy, will be credited online to their accounts through P-PAS from this year.

Stating that his department has set a procurement target of 23 lakh metric tonne of Kharif paddy and 7 lakh metric tonne of Rabi paddy this year, the minister said a decision has been taken to procure more paddy if necessity arises.

“Besides, the state government would request the Centre to increase the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy”, the minister added.

Apart from this, Dasburma said the farmers’ representatives have demanded extension of date for registration of farmers to sell their paddy at the mandi while some farmers have requested to raise the procurement target in the irrigated and non-irrigated areas.

“Some farmers from Koraput have informed that they are yet to receive their procurement payment since last year. The department will look into their allegations and do the needful at the earliest”, he pointed out.

“Besides, the farmers have also demanded relaxation in Fair Average Quality (FAQ) norm at the time of procurement and hike in the MSP of paddy keeping the high cost of production in view. We will take up these two issues with the Centre”, the minister said.