Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 16:
With total procurement of around 40 lakh metric tonne (LMT), paddy procurement during khariff 2014-15 in Odisha has gone up 21 percent over last year.
This was revealed at the State Level Procurement Committee meeting presided over by chief secretary GC Pati at the State Secretariat here today.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, commissioner-cum-secretary, Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare, Madhusudan Padhi said there has been 21 percent growth in paddy procurement and 65 percent growth in delivery of customed mill rice over last year.
Stating that around 14.84 LMT of rice has already been delivered to Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Rice Receiving Centres (RRCs), he said Rabi procurement will be taken up in 2-3 days in all the mandis and the number of procurement days will be extended to six days a week.
The chief secretary directed all Revenue Divisional Commissioners (RDCs) to review the progress of the recovery of rice from the millers and take follow-up action wherever warranted. He directed them to initiate criminal actions against defaulting millers.
Reviewing the modalities of procurement, the chief secretary advised the department to review the online system of farmers registration put in place last year and link farmers’ registration with Aaadhar numbers.
It was decided that fresh farmers’ registration for the coming khariff season will be done in advance by the banks/PACS at the time of advancing crop loans. As per available data, 7,82,917 farmers for Khariff and 1,55,493 farmers for Rabi have been registered online.
The Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS) has successfully been implemented in 60 high-procurement blocks last season. Around 46 percent of the total paddy procured has been transacted through this automated system, which has benefited around 2,28,816 farmers.
For Rabi procurement, the P-PAS will be applied in 36 blocks of 12 high-procurement districts.
The chief secretary asked the department to extend the system to 160 blocks during coming Khariff procurement, undertake an assessment study on satisfaction of the farmers with P-PAS system and to get inputs from them for further improvement.
Among other things, issues relating to collection of rice from millers, strategy and preparedness for Rabi paddy procurement, creation of new rack points in railway, modernization of existing rice mills and establishment of new rice mills in deficient districts were discussed at the meeting.
The meeting was attended by principal secretary, Agriculture, Rajesh Verma; principal secretary, Cooperation Manoj Ahuja; director, Agriculture Pramod Meherda; registrar, Cooperative Societies, Dhiren Kumar Patanik; RDCs and senior officials of the concerned departments.