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TelanganaKarimnagar25 lakh MT of paddy procured during lockdown: Gangula

25 lakh MT of paddy procured during lockdown: Gangula

Published: 19th May 2021 7:55 pm

Karimnagar: BC Welfare and Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar on Wednesday said 25 lakh metric tons of paddy was purchased during the ongoing lockdown across the State.

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Of the 45.20 lakh metric tons procured till May 18, 25 lakh metric tons were purchased within a span of seven days. “This only shows the commitment of the State government towards procurement of paddy,” the Minister said at a media conference here.

Responding to opposition parties’ comments that paddy procurement was not being carried out, Kamalakar said it is the Telangana government that is continuing procurement while other States like Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra had suspended procurement in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19. “It is happening in Telangana only because of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s commitment,” he said.

Admitting whether there was any delay in the procurement process, the Minister said problems had cropped up due to lack of space in rice mills and godowns, but he asked the farmers not to worry since the government has promised to procure the entire crop produced by the farmers.

Highest ever production this year

Pointing out that the extent of paddy cultivation had shot up from 39.30 lakh acre last year to 52.76 lakh acres now, Kamalakar said they were expecting about 1.32 crore metric tons of the crop this time around. “This will be the highest ever paddy production in the State,” he observed, adding that the average yield was 30 to 35 bags per acre. There were instances of the yield going even beyond 35 bags in some areas of Khammam district.

Only 1.3 lakh MT lifted by FCI

Stating that in united Andhra Pradesh, only 14 lakh metric tons was procured, he said the Food Corporation of India (FCI) entered an agreement with the State government to procure 80 lakh metric tons of grain. Of the 4.20 lakh metric tons, only 1.30 lakh metric tons was lifted by FCI and the remaining 3 lakh metric tons was lying in godowns and rice mills.

Since there are no rice mills in Rajanna-Sircilla and Khammam districts, the produce has been shifted to rice mills in Suryapet, Peddapalli and Karimnagar district, he said. Labour shortage was also another reason for the delay. Usually, labourers from Bihar and Odisha are engaged in the paddy procurement process, but this time around, 70 per cent of them have returned to their native places due to Covid.

The Minister said the arrival of paddy at the centres had gone up in the last ten days. “Per day, 1 lakh metric tons used to procure. However, 2 lakh metric tons was purchased on Tuesday alone,” he pointed out.

Collectors, Joint Collectors, Tahsildhars, and Civil Supplies department officials are working round the clock to procure the crop.

‘Will purchase rain-soaked grain’

The crop stored at purchasing centres soaked due to unseasonal rains, he said and promised to purchase even the rain-soaked grain. In this regard, instructions were also issued to officials. So, farmers need not to worry about the rain-soaked crops.

Talking about payments, the Minister said, so far, Rs 4,522 crore was deposited in the bank accounts of farmers. Payment has been delayed in some cases due to the delay in shifting the crop to rice mills from centres.

There was no shortage of gunny bags and the Chief Minister has arranged Rs 20,000 crore for procurement, he added.

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