The Centre has approved the Odisha Government’s proposal for extension of Kharif paddy procurement deadline to April 30. Paddy procurement is in full swing in most of the districts except Kandhamal where the process will start from next week, said, Joint Director (Procurement) in the Food Supply and Consumer Welfare department, Mr. B K Prusty. Setting a target to procure 30 lakh tonnes of rice for the 2016-17 kharif marketing season (KMS), the state government started the procurement operation from Bargarh district on November 29 last year. Since post-harvest operation of paddy is still on in many parts of the state, the state government had requested the Ministry of Agriculture to extend the paddy procurement deadline from March 30 to the end of April, 2017.
Besides, the demonetisation of high currency notes impacted paddy procurement as the agencies involved in procurement could not pay the minimum support price to the farmers due to cash crunch. About 17.45 lakh tonnes of paddy (equivalent to 11.87 lakh tonnes of rice) worth Rs 2,562 crore has been procured till date and Rs 2,012 crore has been credited to bank accounts of farmers, Prusty added. This year procurement of paddy has been five percent more as compared to the corresponding period last year. About 16.63 lakh tonnes of paddy were procured by this time last year. Registered rice millers have already delivered 2,46,490 tonnes of rice to the state government.
The Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) is the principal procurement agency of the State Government. The corporation is procuring paddy in all the 30 districts through Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), Pani Panchayats, Large Scale Agriculture Multipurpose Societies (LAMPS) and women self-help groups. The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department has introduced paddy procurement automation system (P-PAS) in 294 of the 314 blocks of the state. The remaining 20 blocks do not have surplus paddy for procurement. The custom milled rice collected under the decentralised procurement system is supplied under the public distribution system in the state. The surplus rice was delivered to the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The deadline for Kharif paddy procurement is March while for Rabi crop it is June. FCI does not accept rice from the paddy procured beyond the stipulated time frame.