According to the state Food Minister, 32.41 lakh tonne paddy is the highest procurement record in the history of Tamil Nadu.
For the first time in Tamil Nadu’s history, paddy procurement has touched an unprecedented 32.41 lakh tonne during the 2019-20 season, which ended on September 30. Sharing the news on October 3, state Food Minister R Kamaraj said that paddy was procured from 2,135 centres spread across the state benefitting about 5,85,241 farmers.
“This volume of 32.41 lakh tonne paddy is the highest procurement record in the history of Tamil Nadu. Through this, the state government has provided a total of Rs 6,130 crore, including Rs 205 crore, worth of incentives to the farmers,” stated a release. The entire amount has been directly credited to the farmers’ bank accounts, Kamaraj added.
On October 1, the Union government announced a minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,888 per quintal for thin variety and Rs 1,868 per quintal for the normal variety for the 2020-2021 season. Additionally, the Tamil Nadu government has given an incentive of Rs 70 per quintal for thin variety and Rs 50 for normal variety, the Minister said.
According to Minister Kamaraj, the process of procurement for this year commenced from October 1. Since October 2 was a holiday, all procurement centres have been asked to open on October 4, Sunday, for the benefit of farmers. Also, the district Collectors have been told to open more number of Direct Procurement Centres (DPC), depending on the requirements, he added.
Denying any delay in procurement of paddy, the Minister said that the pile-up was only due to the increased arrival rate of paddy. Procurement had been stepped up to 1,000 bags a day at each DPC from 700 to 800 a day, he added. A total of 591 new DPCs have been opened in the state for procuring paddy from farmers.
As for the farmer’s request to take paddy with increased moisture content, due to the rains, Minister added that Centre’s policy was to only procure paddy with a moisture content of up to 17%. However, he added that the state would ensure farmers are not disappointed.
(With inputs from PTI)