Govt to procure paddy directly from farmers
Kolkata: The state Food and Supplies department has decided to go door-to-door for procurement of paddy from farmers.
This is for the first time when the department has taken this decision to reach out directly to farmers so that they face no difficulty in selling their produce amidst lockdown.
The availability of transport has been posing a major challenge to the farmers to reach out to the camps or to the
Krishak Bazaars organised by the state government for selling paddy.
"Our main aim is to ensure that farmers can sell their produce without any difficulty and get paid immediately against this sale.
The poor farmers are badly in need of money in the current lockdown situation. The self help groups in the districts have been roped in for smoothly organising this door to door collection," said Jyotipriya Mallick, State Food and Supplies minister.
The state government has launched Annadatri app from the month of May.
Farmers interested to sell their paddy can communicate about their desire to sell paddy through the app.
As soon as the department gets a reasonable amount of farmers in a gram panchayat area who are willing to sell their produce, the self help groups working in that area pick it up from the farmer and keep it stocked at a particular place.
The officials of the department along with rice millers is quickly reaching out to that place with a vehicle and pick up the stuff.
Mallick said that the process of doorstep procurement has started in districts like Bankura, Purulia, Malda and South Dinajpur.
"The entire process is being carried out maintaining norms of social distancing and other requisite protocol to prevent the spread of COVID 19," said Mallick.
Mallick said that his department is making an assessment of the people who have lost or damaged their ration cards due to the severe cyclonic storm that wreaked havoc in the state on May 20.
"We will issue duplicate ration cards to these people at an earliest," said Mallick.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after lockdown was implimented had announced that free ration for people of the state for a period of six months. Presently over 9.5 crore people in the state are getting free ration.