Bhubaneswar: A delegation of BJD MPs today met the Union Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum urging him to ensure that Food Corporation of India (FCI) continue procuring surplus parboiled rice from Odisha for the next Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2021-22.
Through the memorandum, the BJD Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members appraised the Union Minister that total 14 lakh farmers sold 77.33 lakh MT paddy (equivalent to 52.35 MT rice) till October 10 during KMS 2020- 21 and Rs 14.44 crore was transferred to their bank accounts within 48 hours. However, the Centre’s letter, dated August 31, 2021, mentioning that no surplus parboiled rice will be accepted from Odisha by FCI for the next KMS (2021-22) has come as a major bolt for lakhs of farmers in the state.
Odisha had estimated to procure 52 lakh MT rice in the upcoming KMS 2021-22. As Odisha’s own requirements is about 24 lakh MT rice comprising of all the schemes, a surplus of 28 lakh MT rice including 4 lakh MT raw rice and 24 lakh MT parboiled rice would be left with the state, the MPs mentioned in the memorandum.
If FCI does not lift the surplus 24 lakh MT parboiled rice due to restrictions imposed by the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), it would severely affect Odisha’s paddy procurement operation and also cause great distress to 10 lakh farmers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
They urged the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution to direct the Department of Food and Public Distribution for instructing FCI to lift the 24 lakh MT surplus parboiled rice from Odisha for the next KMS 2021-22.
Worth mentioning, Odisha, after becoming a Decentralized Procurement (DCP) state in KMS 2003-04, has been procuring rice from millers on behalf of the Centre. The surplus rice which is left after consumption under National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes of the state Government is delivered to FCI.