January 24, 2014
WB Govt to procure levy rice before schedule for the benefit of farmers
The government has decided to procure most of its quota of rice from mill owners before the usual time to keep the price of the crop in check by ensuring that demand does not fall.
The Food and Supplies department has called the state`s 800-odd mill owners for a meeting on 28 January to urge them to sell as much of the “levy rice” as it can before March. After the government procures the levy rice, it allows the mill owners to sell the same amount in the market. The government usually procures the levy rice, which it sends to ration shops, after March.
Food minister Jyotipriya Mullick said: “We will hold a meeting with all rice mill owners on 28 January in Kolkata and tell them that they should deposit as much of the levy rice as they can before March so that the market price of paddy does not fall. If we can achieve this, the farmers will get a better price for their produce.”
This year, the state government has set a target of procuring 9 lakh tonnes of rice from the mills and 13 lakh tonnes from farmers.
As the mill owners buy paddy from farmers, government procurement of the levy rice will ensure that the demand doesn`t drop and that the cultivators get proper price and don`t have to go for distress sale.
The government has so far set up around 200 camps across the state and procured 88,058 tonnes of the target of 13 lakh tonnes of paddy.