ROURKELA: The first phase of paddy procurement in Sundargarh district is likely to be completed in the next three weeks. Since December 12, over 60,000 tonne of paddy has been purchased in the district, which faced crop loss over 67,540 hectare (ha) last year.
Civil Supply Officer, A Barik said against the first phase target of procuring 1,30,441 tonne paddy, the district has procured 60,600 tonne. However, paddy stock brought from drought-hit pockets are chaffy with little or no grains. Farmers have been asked to remove the chaffy crops and other impurities from the paddy stocks ahead of procurement.
He said the first phase procurement will be wrapped up in the next three weeks and if required, approval for second phase target would be sought by end of January and procurement may continue till March. Last year, the district had procured 1.45 lakh tonne paddy.
Paddy procurement is being carried out through 119 Paddy Procurement Centres (PPCs) across the district attached to 44 Large And Multi-Purpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPSs), two Regional Cooperative Marketing Societies RCMSs) and one Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society (MPCS). At least 14 rice mills are authorised for procurement and rice processing.
Deputy Registrar of Co-Operative Societies, Jerome Kerketta said so far no complaint has been received from the PPCs. He informed that 37,000 farmers have registered for selling their produce.
Of the total 2.09 lakh ha area covered under paddy cultivation in kharif crop season, 50 pc crops were damaged in 35,986 ha upland comprising Hemgir, Lefripara, Tangarpali, Sundargarh, Subdega, Balishankara, Bargaon and Kutra blocks. Similarly, crop damage of 33 to 50 pc over 31,554 ha of medium and low land was also reported from the aforementioned blocks.