JHARSUGUDA: Kharif paddy would be procured from farmers across Jharsuguda district from December 3. This was decided at the district level meeting on paddy procurement held under the chairmanship of Collector Bibhuti Bhusan Patnaik on Thursday. The FAQ minimum price for general quality paddy has been fixed at `1,750 per quintal while it is `1,770 for Grade A quality. As per Government directive, it has been targeted to procure 45,882.352 tonne of paddy which will yield 31,200 tonne of rice in the current crop season.
As many as 40 paddy collection centres including 32 primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) will be opened in the district. Arrangements have been made to open market yards at Sarbahal and Rengali under Lakhanpur block.
Directions have been issued to purchase 19 quintals of paddy per acre from irrigated land and 13 quintals per acre from non-irrigated land. A complaint centre will also be opened at the Civil Supply office here.
At the meeting, the farmers demanded opening of an additional market yard. Last year, they were allegedly harassed by millers on the ground of non-compliance of FAQ terms. Since paddy crops were affected due to scanty rainfall this year, the farmers have demanded relaxation in FAQ quality.
While the Collector assured to apprise the Government of their demand, Brajrajnagar MLA Radharani Panda promised to raise the issue in the Assembly. The mill owners have been directed to remain present in the PACS during paddy purchase. The millers have alleged that they have been facing losses owing to low FAQ paddy purchased by FCI.