State procures over 8L metric tonnes of paddy in record time
Kolkata: The state Food and Supplies department has already procured 8.26 lakh metric tonnes of paddy, surpassing its 2 months target of 6 lakh metric tonnes. The officials of the department are hopeful that more than 10 lakh MT paddy will be procured by the end of this month.
The procurement process had started on November 2.
Nadia, Murshidabad and Cooch Behar district lead the procurement list with 242 percent, 230 per cent and 175 percent respectively. "We have involved Self Help Groups (SHG) and cooperatives in the purchase of paddy directly from the farmers. More than 350 CPCs (centralized procurement centres) have been set up for procurement and 7 procurement agencies have been activated for organising camps for hassle-free procurement. The response has been excellent and the process is expected to pick up pace further in the next few months," said a senior official of the department.
The state government has set a target of procuring 52 lakh metric tonne paddy in the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) that started on October 1. The same will continue till September 30 of the next year. The Food department has also taken a landmark decision of raising the ceiling of paddy procurement limit from each farmer to 90 quintal. It was 45 quintal last year.
The minimum support price (MSP) of paddy is Rs 1868 per quintal. An incentive of Rs 20 per quintal over and above the MSP will be given to the farmers, who will sell their paddy at the CPCs including Direct Purchase Centres under the state government. A senior department official informed that the state government cooperative agencies like BENFED, CONFED and ECSC will purchase 46 lakh MT while the Food Corporation of India will procure 6 lakh MT.
"A landmark decision to distribute free-of-cost entitled ration to 10.15 crore people at the critical time of COVID-19 pandemic has been taken. The same will continue till June 2020 as announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee," the official added.