Food & Supplies dept to soon start fingerprint authentication for new registration of farmers

Kolkata: The state Food & Supplies department is working on the introduction of fingerprint authentication for farmers doing new registration for selling paddy. The farmers who will update their mobile number, bank details or similar relevant information will also have to do finger print authentication.

"We are constantly taking steps for upgradation of our system to ensure transparency. This is a significant stride towards that direction," Rathin Ghosh, state Food and Supplies minister said.

According to sources, the department has already started sending scanner machines in connection with fingerprint authentication to a number of districts in the state.

Till date, a farmer had to produce identity proof, Krishak Bandhu registration proof, bank passbook etc for registration at the Centralised Procurement Centre (CPC's) for selling their paddy produce.

The department that has started procurement of paddy from the farmers from November 2 last year and has already procured nearly 22 lakh metric tonnes of paddy. About 8,40533 farmers have sold their produce.

The state has set a target of procuring 52 lakh metric tonne (MT) of paddy which is expected to continue till July- August this 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 is being offered to the farmers selling their paddy at the CPCs including Direct Purchase Centres under the state government.

The state Food and Supplies department this year has allowed relaxation in registration to those farmers who have registered for selling their paddy produce in the previous year.

Their last year's records are already embedded in the computerised network so they did not require to do registration again.

This has been resulting in avoiding crowding at the CPC's with physical distancing assuming utmost importance at a time when the state is passing through the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

"We are also be holding camps with the assistance of local administration and Self Help Groups in different parts of the state for smooth procurement process," a senior official of the department said.

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