State, now has decided to procure 1.10 lakh MT of the Boro yield and the process, as Mondal stated, is slated to begin within a week or two, opening 35 procurement centres East Burdwan, considered Bengal’s rice bowl, is in trouble with paddy as the state couldn’t secure the targeted procurement volume this season, resulting in a 1.57 lakh MT surplus stacked in farmer’s stockyards.
The district recorded a gross yield of 9.55 lakh MT paddy in the Boro season. “Apprehending crop loss during cyclone Mocha, most of the farmers in the district had expedited harvest using machines in the district, which resulted in a good yield this time,” said Ashis Bera, deputy director of agriculture in East Burdwan.
The state had targeted to ensure procurement of 6.21 lakh MT, but, on actual 4.64 lakh MT could be secured through the central procurement centres, leaving a deficit of 1.57 lakh MT in the warehouses, the officials said. “The procurement process had to be postponed due to multiple reasons, one of which was corruption.
Some rice mill workers were hand-in-glove with the middlemen and were caught allowing entry of paddy packets arranged by the brokers,” said Mehboob Mondal, Karmadhyaksha, East Burdwan zilla parishad. Three workers of a rice mill in Monteswar were caught by the police last month on charges of pilferage and forgery.
State, now has decided to procure 1.10 lakh MT of the Boro yield and the process, as Mondal stated, is slated to begin within a week or two, opening 35 procurement centres. He added, “This time the fingerprints of the MSP (minimum support price) beneficiary farmers will be matched mandatorily with their respective Aadhaar cards to check middlemen.