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Centre relaxes paddy FAQ norms for Odisha farmers

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Bhubaneswar: The Centre today decided to relax the norms of fair average quality (FAQ) for the procurement of paddy in Odisha under the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism.

This will be for farmers in 15 districts of the State which have been affected by unseasonal rain.

FAQ norm is set by the Central government to determine grades of paddy before procurement.

Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, informed this through a letter to Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who had requested Paswan for this relaxation.

“I would like to inform you that my department has decided to give relaxation in the FAQ norms for the purpose of procurement of paddy in 15 districts of the state to facilitate farmers affected by the unexpected unseasonal rain,” Paswan wrote in the letter.

Notably, on January 30, Pradhan, in a letter to Paswan, had requested to relax the FAQ norms for the procurement of paddy crop by FCI in Odisha under the Minimum Support Price mechanism.

The farmers of Odisha would be forced to distress sale their paddy if the FAQ norm was not relaxed. He said during his visit to various parts of the state, several farmers told him that the quantity and quality of paddy crop has been adversely affected by the unseasonal rain and requested the Union government to come to their rescue in purchasing the paddy under MSP.

A team of quality control officers of the FCI had visited and assessed the quality of paddy in the affected districts of the state after he had a discussion with him. The FCI team has reportedly found that the paddy does not meet the FAQ standards.