Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday cornered the Central government over issues related to agriculture and farmers. The State ruling party, in a press meet today, alleged that the letter written by the centre to the State government regarding rice procurement is like a headache for the farmers.
The BJD party alleged that the Centre denies to purchase rice from the State further while it is yet to pay Rs 2850 crores. The centre has not implemented the M. S. Swaminathan reports on farmers, it said.
The party’s MLA Rohit Pujari while addressing the press meet said that the peasants, despite the COVID pandemic could cultivate a decent produce only because of the proper management of the deadly virus in the State. However, the centre has now written a letter that it would purchase only 50 per cent of rice during the Kharif cropping season and will not buy any rice during the rabi season.
He said that, in 2019-20, 53 lakh metric tons of paddy was cultivated during the Kharif cropping season and 17 lakh metric tons of paddy in the rabi season. Out of the entire production, there are 48 lakh metric tons of Parboiled rice.
The MLA further said that this year, 35 lakh metric tons of paddy has been collected so far and it is expected that another 30 lakh metric tons of paddy would be collected.
The income of the farmers has been doubled due to CM Naveen Patnaik and Odisha has become one of the leading States in paddy production in the country, he said adding, however, the union government has put a restriction on the procurement of Parboiled rice.
Instead of gheraoing the RDC office in Sambalpur on January 21, the State BJP should go to Delhi and lift the restriction imposed on the procurement of Parboiled rice, he advised.
Rohit Pujari warned that the BJD would extend its support if the farmers of the State hit the street over the issue in the future.
BJD leader Snehangini Chhuria and Nuapada MLA Rajendra Dholakia were present during the press meet today.