Report by Jyoti Prakash; Bhubaneswar : Paddy procurement in Kharif Marketing Season of 2011-12 has gone above the initial target with procurement of more than 42.38 lakh MT of paddy which is equivalent to around 28.68 lakhs MT in terms of rice. This has come to light in State Level procurement Committee Meeting held under Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik in the secretariat conference hall today.
Initially the target was set to procure 41.67 lakh MTs of paddy which is equivalent to 28 lakh MTs of rice. Out of total procurement of 42.38 lakh MT of paddy Odisha Civil Supplies Corporation with the involvement of PACS have procured 37.30 lakhs MT. This year PACS were involved in direct procurement of paddy from farmers for the first time. Around 1858 PACS opened 2013 purchase centers and procured around 28 lakh MT which is more than 75% of the purchase of Civil Supplies Corporation and more than 67.75% of the total procurement. The other agencies like MARKFED, NAFED, TDCC, FCI have collected balance of the procurement.
While congratulating the Cooperation department and the members of the PACS throughout the state Chief Secretary Patnaik has instructed them to create more storage facility at PACS level involving the RMCs. The RMCs have been advised to increase godown space and improve the condition of roads leading to goodwns along with creating of infrastructural facilities. Chief Secretary maintained that conditions should be created so that farmers find it convenient to sale their produces through PACS. Development Commissioner Sri R.N. Senapati has advised the PACS to indicate their funds requirement in advance for the coming season so that funds can be made available to them before real procurement starts. Cooperation sources say that steps will be taken to involve more number of PACS in procurement this year. The department is planning to involve near about 24000 PCS in the process.
Considering the time taken for weighing of paddy at RMC market yards Chief Secretary Sri Patnaik has directed Cooperation department to install 100 more weighbridges on the basis of their procurement figures. The weighbridges will be computerized with print out facility so as to make the process quicker and transparent. . The department has also been advised to connect the weighbridges through internet facility so that it can be monitored centrally. At present 436 marketing and sub-marketing yards are operating in different areas and there are 98 weighbridges available for use.
Available data shows that Odisha has emerged as a surplus state in rice production. Sources say the state requirement is around 21 lakh MT of rice against which the procurement has been more than 28 Lakh MT. Considering the storage issues Chief Secretary has asked the FCI authorities to lift at least 1 lakh MT of rice each month for avoiding probable inconveniencies in coming procurement season. After several initiations from the side of State Govt at present FCI is lifting 40,000 to 50,000 MT of rice each month. Sri Patnaik has also advised the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department to regulate the supply of rice to wanting districts from surplus district through proper planning in procurement, milling, delivery of rice and consumption requirement so that transport cost is kept at minimum. The department has also been asked to make an assessment of milling capacity required in different districts and present availability of the facility. Chief Secretary Sri Patnaik has indicated that initiatives can be made to set up more milling units in different areas of the state.
The Development Commissioner Sri R.N.Senapati, Pr Secretary agriculture Sri R.L.Jamuda, Secretary cooperation Smt.Mona Sharma, SRC Dr Arabinda Padhee, MD OSCSC Sri S.Basistha along with sebior officers from different procurement agencies and other members participated in discussions.