Odisha CM writes to PM over paddy procurement from State

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over paddy procurement from Odisha.

“I would like to bring it to your kind notice that, Odisha became a Decentralized Procurement (DCP) State in the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2003-04. Since then, the State has been undertaking MSP operations for procurement of paddy in decentralized mode. Such decentralized Procurement has improved the outreach of MSP support to paddy growers. The rice milled from the paddy so procured is being used under the National Food Security Act and other welfare schemes of Government of India and the surplus rice is being delivered to Food Corporation of India (FCI),” Patnaik wrote.

“I am glad that during the KMS 2020-21, around 14 farmers have sold 77.33 lakh MT of paddy (equivalent to 52.35 MT of rice) to the State Government and MSP dues of about Rs 14,444 crores have been transferred to the bank accounts of the farmers but also strengthened the rural economy of the State, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The State Government has made special efforts to extend procurement operations to remote areas of the State besides putting in place a transparent system in which all processes are leveraged by IT applications,” he added.

The Chief Minister further said that in connection with paddy procurement, it is pertinent to mention here the GoI vide their letter dated 31.8.2021 have intimated that for the next KMS no surplus parboiled rice shall be accepted from Odisha by the Food Corporatioin of India. It may kindly be noted that upcoming KMS 2021-22 Odisha is estimated to procure 52 lakh MT of rice. The State’s own requirement or rice under all the scheme is about 24 lakh MT. This goes to indicate that the State will have surplus of 28 lakh MT of rice out of which only 4 lakh MT will be raw rice. That leaves the State with a balance of 24 lakh MT of parboiled rice for evacuation by FCI. But the latest decision of DFPD has put a question mark on lifting of the said surplus rice from the State.

Odisha is primarily a parboiled rice consuming State and historically, therefore, Odisha’s rice milling industry overwhelmingly produces parboiled rice. The state is therefore not in a position to face the situation arising due to a paradigm shift in surplus rice delivery profile imposed on the State by DFPD.

Non-lifting of the above quantity of surplus parboiled rice from the State due to the restrictions imposed by DFPD has the potential of severely affecting the State’s paddy procurement operations. This will affect about 10 lakh farmers and put them in serious trouble especially during this COVID pandemic situation.

“In the above circumstances, your kind personal intervention is requested for issuing a direction to DFPD to accept the estimated surplus parboiled rice from the State for the next KMS 2021-22. Further, reasonable time may also be given to the State to align with the requirements of DFPD,” Patnaik suggested.

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