NAGAPATTINAM/THANJAVUR: Days after the State government wrote to the Centre seeking a relaxation in moisture content norms for kuruvai paddy procurement, the latter deputed a team that inspected direct purchase centres (DPCs) in Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts on Sunday.
The State government recently requested the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and its procurement agency Food Corporation of India (FCI), to procure paddy with moisture content up to 22% as it pointed out that farmers, owing to the unseasonal rains, are struggling to reduce it to the required limit of 17% to be accepted in DPCs and to avail of the complete minimum support price.
Accordingly, a Central team inspected the paddy being procured at DPCs in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts on Saturday.
In Nagapattinam district, the team inspected DPCs in areas like Pattamangalam and Venmani in Kilvelur taluk, Valivalam and Ettukudi in Tirukkuvalai taluk, Perunkadambanur and Melanagore in Nagapattinam taluk, on Sunday. District Collector A Arun Thamburaj, Kilvelur MLA ‘Nagai’ Mali and TFDC Chairman N Gowthaman accompanied the team.
The team also interacted with farmers. SR Tamil Selvan, a farmer, pointing to more rains in the offing, urged for moisture content relaxation at 22% as he said those like him are unable to dry their harvested paddy. In Mayiladuthurai district, the team inspected DPCs in places like Pandur in Kuthalam taluk and Manalmedu in Mayiladuthurai taluk .District Collector R Lalitha accompanied them.
While addressing media persons in Manalmedu, the team head and Deputy Director (Storage and Research Division), Quality Control Cell, MZ Khan, said, “We have visited the affected places on behalf of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. We have collected several samples from the procurement centres in the affected areas. The samples will be analysed in Tamil Nadu’s FCI regional office lab. We will submit our report on inspection and analysis to the ministry headquarters for any recommendation regarding relaxation of moisture content norms.”