Bhubaneswar, Oct 31 (LocalWire) Odisha government has decided to rope in Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs) in the paddy procurement exercise for the ensuing 2019-20 Kharif marketing season (KMS).
At least 150 WSHGs are being pressed into service in Bargarh, Bhadrak, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Ganjam, Koraput, Nuapada, Sambalpur and Subarnapur districts in the convergence of Mission Shakti with different departments, said principal secretary, agriculture and farmers’ empowerment department, Saurav Garg.
Besides the WSHGs, the farmers’ service cooperative societies will also be involved in paddy procurement in these districts.
The inclusion of WSHGs in governmental work is being promoted to economically empower women. The State has already engaged the WSHGs in electricity metre reading and bill collection, the supply of pre-school uniforms to Anganwadi centres besides Mid-day Meal (MDM) cooking assignments, the official said.
Meanwhile, the government has set a target to procure 60 lakh metric tons of paddy in the KMS this season. In 2018-19, 65.49 lakh metric tons of paddy was procured.
As per the central government’s agriculture policy, the minimum support price (MSP) of a quintal of procured paddy of common variety is fixed at Rs.1,815 while it’s Rs.1,835 per quintal of grade-A variety, officials added.
The Kharif marketing season (KMS) that has already begun will continue till September 30, 2020.
Besides the WSHGs, 2,668 farmers’ primary cooperative societies, 3,311 mandis, 1,300 millers and 295 depots are shouldering the responsibility of paddy procurement in the current season which will be carried out in online mode. It will be done in offline mode in operational areas under 125 societies because of poor internet connectivity, the official said.
The farmers will receive the payment of their sold produce in online mode directly in their bank accounts within 24-48 hours duration from the sale of paddy, he added.
Aadhar shall be the only identity proof document for a farmer to sell paddy to the government. The paddy must meet with FAQ specification of the union government for procurement, the official said.