The Odisha government has set an ambitious target to procure 77 lakh metric tonnes of paddy during the 2021-22 Kharif marketing season (KMS) despite the deficient monsoon rainfall casting a shadow on the bumper harvest.
A tentative target of 52 lakh Metric Tonne (LMT) in terms of rice has been fixed for KMS 2021-22. In terms of paddy, this comes to around 77 LMT. For Kharif, the tentative target for procurement of paddy would be 63 lakh MT & for Rabi 14 lakh MT, according to a cabinet decision that was approved by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday.
The State Government will procure paddy during Kharif and Rabi seasons separately within the KMS. Paddy will be procured from registered farmers by payment of Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Paddy will be milled into rice by Custom Millers appointed for the purpose. The rice so obtained will be utilised in State’s Public Distribution System (PDS) to meet requirements under National Food Security Act, State Food Security Scheme & Other Welfare Schemes and the surplus rice will be delivered to the Food Corporation of India (FCI), according to the cabinet decision.
There will be no bar for procurement of any higher quantum if more paddy comes to mandies from registered farmers. The procurement target may be revised and the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister has been authorized to revise this target if the need so arises. In KMS 2020-21 paddy to the tune of 77.33 LMT was procured (both Kharif and Rabi included). In terms of rice it comes to 52.35 LMT, it said.
Paddy (Kharif Crop) will be procured in the State during the period from November 2021 to March 2022 and Paddy (Rabi Crop) from May to June 2022. Districts will schedule their procurement periods within these broad timelines.
Paddy will be procured from farmers who are registered in the online portal of the Food Supply & Consumer Welfare Department, it said adding that Aadhaar shall be only ID proof for a registered farmer to sell paddy to Government. The sale of paddy is subject to Aadhaar based biometric identification.
All registered and eligible farmers shall be intimated in advance by way of SMS to their mobile phones regarding the date of sale of paddy and the quantity to be sold. Small and marginal farmers shall be accorded priority for the sale of paddy to the Government.
There would be no imposition on farmers to keep aside a certain portion of their produce for personal consumption by their families. A registered farmer can sell his entire surplus, as per the approved yield rate, to the Government.
This will facilitate the entry of more small and marginal farmers into the procurement fold. Paddy will be procured as per the Minimum Support Price declared by the central government at Rs 1,940 –a-quintal for common variety and Rs 1,960 per quintal for Grade- A variety.
The purchase of Fair average quality (FAQ) paddy at prices below MSP shall be punishable under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.