Orissa sets procurement target of 31 lakh tonnes of rice

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 6 (UNI) The Orissa Governmenmt today set a target to procure 31 lakh tonnes of rice during the year 2008-09.

Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal said despite the flooding, the government hoped to reap a bumper crop during the current year and achieve the procurement target.

Orissa has been considered as the fifth state in the country in rice procurement after Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhatisgarh.

The Minister said while the government agencies would procure 29 lakh tons, the remaining would come from the millers' agents.

Giving the break up the Minister said the supply corporation was given a target to procure 10.03 lakh tons, FCI and its agencies 7.50 lakh tons, primary cooperatives 1.5 lakh tons, Markfed 2.85 tons TDCC 55,000 tons and NAFED 4.25 lakh tons of rice.

The Minister said paddy crop in more than 4.5 lakh hectares of land out of the total crop cultivated on 38 lakh hectares of land was damaged in the current floods.

But despite huge crop damages, the authorities hoped to harvest 10 lakh tons of paddy in rabi and 70 lakh tons in Khariff, he said.

Last year, Mr Samal said the government had targeted to procure 25 lakh tons of rice but managed to procure 24.09 lakh tons.

The Minister said this year the government had raised the limit of self help groups to procure rice from 10 quintals to 15 quintals this year.

He said the government also decided to procure Mecca and Rabi during the current year through NAFED at the Minimum Support Price fixed by the government.

While rabi would be procured at Rs 915 per quintal from Koraput, Ganjam, Rayagada and Gajapati,Mecca would be procured from Nawarangpur at Rs 840 per quintal.

The procurement would be made from the farmers who have kissan credit cards, Farmers Identification card, records of rights, land pass book or R I Certificate.

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