Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to Union Minister Piyush Goyal, urging him to lift around 20 lakh tonne of surplus rice for the 2022-23 Kharif marketing season from Odisha to enable the state government to procure paddy from farmers in the coming seasons.
In a letter to Goyal, the minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, the CM said that Odisha became a decentralised procurement state from the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2003-04, and since then, it has been undertaking MSP (minimum support price) operations for procurement of paddy in a decentralised mode.
During the 2022-23 Kharif season, a record 14,94,320 farmers have sold paddy to the government at the minimum support price, Patnaik said, adding that rice processed from paddy in the state is being used under the National Food Security Act and other welfare programmes of the government and the surplus rice is being delivered to the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
"Paddy procurement for the Kharif season will be closed by March 31. Around 65.23 lakh tonne of paddy, equivalent to 44.23 lakh tonne Kharif CMR (custom milled rice), has been procured as on March 22 and MSP dues of around Rs 13,081 crore transferred to the bank account of farmers," Patnaik mentioned in the letter.
In the ensuing Rabi season, it is expected that around 10 lakh tonne of CMR will be procured in the state, he said.
"Thus, a total of 54 lakh tonne CMR is likely to be procured during the KMS 2022-23. Odisha's own consumption will be 24 lakh tonne of rice under NFSA, SFSS and other welfare schemes," Patnaik pointed out.
"The Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India has issued a target of 10.33 lakh tonne of fortified parboiled rice for acceptance by FCI during the KMS 2022-23 (Kharif) for Odisha. So, the state will be left with approximately 20 lakh tonne of surplus rice," he said.
The chief minister said that the non-evacuation of the surplus rice from the state will severely affect the paddy procurement operations in the coming seasons' and the livelihood of lakhs of farmers.
"In view of the above, I would request your intervention for issuing a direction to accept an additional 20 lakh tonne of surplus rice for the KMS 2022-23 for the interest of farmers," Patnaik added.