Central and state government agencies in Assam will procure 10 lakh MT paddy from farmers at minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1940 per quintal, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on January 10.
In a bid to sensitize the farmers on the paddy procurement drive and to expedite the process, Assam government will organize special ‘gaon sabha’ across the state on January 16.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced the decision to hold the gaon sabha during an interaction with DCs, circle officers, district agricultural officers and agricultural development officers through video conference from Janata Bhawan in Guwahati on January 10.
The chief minister said that due to lack of proper procurement mechanism and committed efforts, majority of the paddy produced in the state is procured by middlemen depriving the farmers of fair price.
The state government has therefore, decided to bring an end to such a situation so that farmers could be economically benefitted.
Sarma said that due to dedicated efforts of the present state government, central and state agencies such as FCI, AFCSCL, NAFED, NACOF, NCCF and ASAMB have agreed to procure 10 lakh MT paddy from farmers at MSP of Rs 1940 per quintal. As all land records in the state are not integrated with Dharitri portal, the Union government has also allowed manual registration of farmers up to September 30.
The chief minister said that the state government has geared up to carry out the paddy procurement in a mission mode and has notified 194 paddy procurement centres in the state, out of which 166 have been already opened. He also informed that realization of the target of procurement will greatly benefit the farmers apart from infusing over two thousand crores into the state economy.
The video conference was also attended by senior officials of FCS&CA, agriculture and revenue departments and representatives of FCI regional office and other procurement agencies including AFCSCL, NAFED, NACOF, NCCF and ASAMB.
While FCS&CA minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass and revenue minister Jogen Mohan were present along with others at Janata Bhawan, agriculture minister Atul Bora joined the video conference from Golaghat. Several MPs, MLAs also took part in the VC from respective districts.
Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma directed to form a standing committee with principal secretaries of FCS&CA, agriculture and revenue department to guide the DCs and other officers and to sort out all issues relating to paddy procurement.
The chief minister asked the members of the committee to hold weekly review with concerned officials including the procurement agencies and expedite the process.
Moreover, to facilitate prompt registration of farmers at procurement portal and to address land related issues so that manual registration can be done expeditiously, the chief minister directed to authorize COs, gaonburas and lot mandals to issue necessary certificate to farmers.
Underlining the need for massive awareness among farmers for success of the initiative, the Assam chief minister stressed on extensive publicity in the state to sensitize farmers. He said that the gaon sabha to be organized across Assam on January 16 would play an important role in making the farmers aware about the benefits of the procurement drive.
He also urged the MPs and MLAs to take active part in the gaon sabhas to turn the procurement drive into a major success.