State falls short of paddy procurement target

Bhubaneswar: The state government has failed to meet its procurement target for this Kharif season owing to unseasonal rain and drought in several parts of the state, informed Chief Secretary, Bijay Kumar Patnaik after a review meeting here on Friday.  
For the kharif season of 2011-12, though the target was 32 lakh MT, the state only managed to procure 28, 38, 498 lakh MT of paddy. Compared to the corresponding time-frame of the last season, the procurement was 33, 7, 278 lakh MT for the state.

Similarly, the rice procurement target was 26 lakh MT and only 19 lakh MT could be achieved.

Though the State Civil Supplies Corporation had aimed to procure 20 lakh MT rice, it could only collect 16, 46, 000 MT rice. In addition to this, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) had set a target to procure 2 lakh MT rice. However, it ended up procuring a meager 9, 000 MT rice.

Earlier, the state government had declared 17 districts to be drought-hit and 23 districts to be unseasonal rain-hit. The farmers across these districts suffered huge crop loss due to this.

Despite this, controversy cropped up in Sambalpur district as 5 lakh quintal paddy worth over Rs 40 crore were procured by self help groups (SHG) from Kuchinda block. In view of this, the state vigilance department is investigating into the matter regarding the role of SHGs and other institutions engaged in procurement.

Basing on agriculture department’s inputs, the state is expecting to procure 7, 77, 000 MT rice for this Rabi season.

Notably, the government agencies like — Orissa State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC), Orissa State Cooperative Marketing Federation (Markfed), National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (Nafed), Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation of Orissa Ltd (TDCC) and Food Corporation of India (FCI) have failed to meet the procurement target this year.

The meeting discussed about the modalities to meet the procurement target for Rabi season and chalked out strategies to avoid distress sale of paddy.