'Centre should procure more from FCI to aid farmers'
Kolkata: Pradip Majumdar, Advisor to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Agriculture & Allied Sectors, said on Tuesday that the Central procurement system should procure more from the state through Food Corporation of India (FCI), for farmers to get optimum benefit.
"Policy-wise Bengal remains adept in maximising welfare for farmers, through crop diversification, Bangla Shashya Bima Yojana (fully borne by the state government) and Bangla Sech Yojana for micro irrigation practices. However, the Central procurement system should procure more from the state through FCI for farmers to get the optimum benefit," Majumdar said at the Bengal Rice Conclave, organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce.
According to Majumdar, land usage is very high in Bengal and the state contributes to around 5 percent of global rice production, higher than the U.S, Latin America and Africa taken together.
"In a surplus situation like this, it is important to look at commercially gainful disposal methods of rice, so as to maximise the benefits for paddy growers," he added.
He further said that the state encourages crop diversification, which is the cultivation of crops other than paddy such as oilseeds, pulses, maize etc. in those lands which are less conducive to rice production, to ultimately cater to the greater good of the farmers.
The focused deliberations in the conference primarily centered around the rice production of the state, procurement process of paddy across the state, mandi and market linkage in paddy sector in Bengal at district and village levels, marketing, branding, storage and supply of the rice to processors, rice millers, traders, retailers and exporters across the value chain.
Experts opined that water efficient varieties of rice should be cultivated with use of technology for better cultivation amid water shortage.