Low registration of farmers worry for Odisha government

Secretaries of PACS asked to bring all farmers, who have taken loans for paddy crops, into the registration fold
Odisha Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy (File | EPS)
Odisha Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy (File | EPS)

BHUBANESWAR: With only four days left for closure of online registration for sale of surplus paddy to Government agencies under price support system, only 3.16 lakh farmers are reported to have enrolled for 2019-20 kharif marketing season.

Taking exception to such low registration of farmers, the Cooperation Department has asked secretaries of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) involved in paddy procurement to ensure that farmers, who have taken crop loan from cooperation credit structures and commercial banks, are covered under the minimum support price (MSP) scheme.

As many as 12,59,826 farmers had registered themselves in 2018 under the paddy procurement automation system (P-PAS).

Apart from renewal of registered farmers, the State Government has asked all district Collectors to include new farmers such as sharecroppers, marginal and small farmers to expand the procurement base by ensuring them the benefit of MSP. 

The Civil Supplies Officers (CSOs), Divisional Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies (DRCS), Assistant Registrar of Cooperative Societies (ARCS) and secretaries of District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) have been assigned the job to monitor and ensure that farmers having small land holding are not deprived of the MSP scheme.

In a communication to DRCS, ARCS and DCCBs, Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) has asked them to issue instructions to PACS secretaries to bring all farmers, who have taken loans for paddy crops, into the registration fold. In case loanee farmers have not registered their names, the PACS secretary concerned will have to explain the disposal of surplus paddy by such farmers.

Similar was the situation in the corresponding period last year when only 11 per cent of 11.2 lakh farmers registered with PACS in 2017-18 renewed their names. In view of slow progress of farmers’ registration, the State Government had to extend the deadline twice till October 15, 2018.

As the registration of farmers has been going slow at the PACS level due to Internet problem, the RCS has recently issued an advisory to all DRCS, ARCS and  DCCB secretaries for taking measures to complete the registration process with instruction to PACS and LAMPS to function on Government holidays till closure of the exercise on August 31. 

As per the Centre’s guidelines, kharif paddy procurement will start from November 1 and continue till April 30.

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