Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Nov 4:
Odisha Government today revised its paddy procurement target to 45 lakh MT from earlier announced 30 lakh MT for the year. The decision was announced in a high level preparatory meeting chaired by Food, Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma in Sambalpur today.
“The government has set a procurement target of 45 Lakh MT of paddy this year. 50 percent of the target would be procured from the northern revenue districts of the state. The government will spend Rs 6,500 crore on it,” said Dasburma addressing newsmen after the meeting.
The meeting was held in Northern RDC office at Sambalpur to discuss the procurement strategy for 10 northern districts. Apart from Dasburma, it was attended by MSME Minister Jogendra Kumar Behera, Food, Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department Secretary Madhusudan Padhy and collectors of 12 districts.
As per sources, two more rounds of meetings would be held at Berhampur and Cuttack on November 6 and 7 respectively to discuss issues such as paddy procurement and direct money transfer to the farmers’ bank accounts. While the November 6 meeting would plan out strategies for southern revenue districts, the November 7 meeting would cover central revenue districts.
Notably, the government held a meeting with representatives of millers and farmers of the state at the secretariat on October 31 that decided to procure 23 lakh MT of paddy during kharif and another 7 lakh MT during Rabi season this year. However, this target was open to revision.
Besides, a decision was taken to open 3000 paddy procurement centres across the state where procurement would begin starting November 15 for upcoming Kharif season. Another decision was also taken to introduce 100 more Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS) used for transferring payments directly to farmers’ accounts following the sale.