State procures 42 lakh mt of rice in kharif season

Bhubaneswar: With the state undertaking record paddy procurement during the Kharif Marketing Season of 2011-12, the state government today asked the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to lift at least one lakh mt of grain every month in order to create space for storage.

“Paddy procurement in Kharif Marketing Season of 2011-12 has gone above the target with procurement of more than 42.38 lakh MT of paddy which is equivalent to around 28.68 lakhs MT in terms of rice,” official sources said. Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said the state required more storage facility to keep the procured paddy. “After several initiations from the state government, the FCI is lifting only 40,000 to 50,000 MT of rice each month,” the official said.

While the initial target of paddy procurement was at 41.67 lakh MTs which is equivalent to 28 lakh MTs of rice, the actual procurement had been 42.38 lakh MT of paddy. Odisha Civil Supplies Corporation with the involvement of PACS (primary agriculture cooperative societies) has alone procured 37.30 lakhs MT.

This year PACS were involved in direct procurement of paddy from farmers for the first time. Around 1858 PACS opened 2013 purchase centers and procured around 28 lakh MT which is more than 75 per cent of the purchase of Civil Supplies Corporation and more than 67.75 per cent of the total procurement. The other agencies like MARKFED, NAFED, TDCC, FCI have collected balance of the procurement.

Chief Secretary maintained that conditions should be created so that farmers find it convenient to sale their produces through PACS. Meanwhile, Odisha has emerged as a surplus state in rice production. While the state`s requirement of rice was around 21 lakh MT, the procurement had been more than 28 Lakh MT this time.