Assam Government Falls Short Of Nearly 40% Of Paddy Procurement Target 

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Posted in Assam, Featured, Northeast

 

  • NET Web Desk

The Assam government has fallen short by nearly 40% to meet the target set for paddy procurement at Minimum Support Price (MSP) from its farmers for 2021-22.

According to the state Food and Civil Supplies Minister – Ranjeet Kumar Dass, although the two state agencies involved in paddy procurement worked effectively, the bodies under the Central government under-performed.

Addressing a press conference, Dass stated “We had set a target of procurement of 10 lakh MT paddy from farmers for the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022.”

“We had been able to buy 5,65,278 MT, which comes to 56.35%, during the year,” the minister added.

He said while the percentage of the target achieved may seem low, in terms of quantity the state has performed much better compared with previous years.

“Paddy procurement from farmers by government agencies has been low in the state. In the previous KMS, it was only 2.22 lakh MT. We have now started putting thrust on it and we expect the figures to increase substantially soon,” – Dass said.

“In fact, we have set a target of procuring 24 lakh MT by 2026, which will enable us to meet our demand under the National Food Security Act and secure incentives for the state government from the Centre as well,” the minister further added.

Besides, the target of buying 10 lakh MT paddy has been set once again for this KMS, though the government is in a position to increase its intake manifold if farmers come forward to sell.

Out of the six agencies engaged in buying the paddy, the two under the state government – Assam Food and Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd (AFCSCL) and Assam State Agricultural Marketing Board (ASAMB) – have performed well, meeting 100.37% and 91.60%, respectively, of the target set for them in terms of procurement. While, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) achieved 43.45% of its target, the other three agencies’ success rates ranged from 36.57% to 47.50%.

“The MSP by the government was Rs 1,940 per quintal last season, and has been increased to Rs 2,040 per quintal this year. In the open market, they get about Rs 1100-1200 per quintal. We have been reaching out to them to come forward and sell to the government agencies for better price realization,” the minister said.

He claimed that the registration process for selling to government agencies has also been simplified and the latter are willing to buy even one quintal of paddy from a farmer.

“Our intention is to benefit the farmers, and for that we are willing to extend help in every possible manner,” Dass added.

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