Odisha continues to be dependent on other states for foodgrain despite government's claims

Information provided by the State government to the Assembly about the annual requirement of essential commodities is far less than actual consumption.

Published: 24th July 2022 10:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2022 10:21 AM   |  A+A-

Ministry told House that there was no target fixed with regard to foodgrain distribution to migrants

Image used for representational purposes (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: A surplus State in food grain production, especially paddy, Odisha is still heavily dependent on other states on essential commodities. Information provided by the State government to the Assembly about the annual requirement of essential commodities is far less than actual consumption.

As per the 68th round survey by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), the annual requirement of pulses in the State was 2.95 lakh tonne in 2020-21 and the pulses production of the State that fiscal was 10.43 lakh tonne. The assessment was made on the basis of the projected population of Odisha in 2021.

The Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangha gives a contrary picture. Secretary general of the traders body Sudhakar Panda said the average requirement of pulses of the State is about 9 lakh tonne and bulk of it is procured from states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

As per NSSO estimate, the annual requirement of edible oil was 2.59 lakh tonne. Data provided by the Directorates of Agriculture and Horticulture said that oilseeds production of the State in 2020-21 was 4.79 lakh tonne.

According to Panda, the annual edible oil requirement of Odisha is in the range of 6 to 6.5 lakh tonne. Since edible oil production in the State is quite negligible, the entire requirement is met from other states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and sources importing palmolein oils.

When it comes to sugar, the disparity in the assessment and actual requirement in the State is huge. While the State government said the annual requirement of sugar was 2.24 lakh tonne, the actual consumption is over 10 lakh tonne.

The sugar production of the State is about 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes as all the sugar mills in Odisha are becoming sick. The only running sugar mill at Aska in Ganjam district is running at a very low capacity and on the verge of closure, Panda said.

The State government assessment about the annual potato requirement is about 13.25 lakh tonne. As per the Horticulture directorate, tuber production of the State was 2.96 lakh tonne.

The traders' body said that only 70,000 to 80,000 tonne of the State’s production came to the market and the rest were consumed by the producer. If this is the fact, then the State is procuring over 12 lakh tonnes of potato from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, it added.

India Matters


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