Paddy procurement to begin from Dec 1 in Chhattisgarh

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Raipur, Nov 18 (PTI) The procurement of paddy from farmers for the ongoing Kharif season in Chhattisgarh will begin on December 1, an official said on Wednesday.

State Chief Secretary R P Mandal on Tuesday held a meeting with all divisional commissioners, district collectors and other officials concerned through video conferencing to take stock of preparations for the procurement drive, the public relations department official said.

The state government has set a target of procuring 90 lakh metric tonne of paddy at an estimated cost of around Rs 22,500 crore from farmers for which 2,205 procurement centres under primary cooperative societies have been set up, he said.

As many as 15 quintals of rice per acre will be procured from every registered farmer, he said.

Due to shortage in supply of gunny bags, the government has directed officials concerned to collect around one lakh gunny bags from the Public Distribution System (PDS) and around two lakh old gunny bags through rice millers for procurement of paddy,.

In the meeting, officials informed that 42,000 gunny bags from PDS and 1.23 lakh gunny bags from rice millers have been arranged so far, he said.

Besides, around 70,000 HDPE/PP (high-density polyethylene/ polypropylene) gunny bags are also being arranged, the official said.

The chief secretary has asked all the collectors to arrange computers and other gadgets at the procurement centres and ensure farmers do not face any trouble in the process.

During the meeting, he also took a review of construction of platforms at paddy procurement centres, the official said.

The opposition BJP in the state had earlier slammed the ruling Congress over the 'delay' in commencing the paddy procurement drive, saying farmers had already begun harvesting crops since October end and they lack storage space.

'It seems the Congress government has no intention to provide benefit to farmers. Either the farmers will have to sell their crops to middlemen or lack of proper storage would result in damage to their crops,' BJPs state unit chief Vishnu Deo Sai had said.

Sai had also alleged that the state government was making excuses citing unavailability of jute sacks. PTI TKP GK GK