Lack of milling facility forces paddy-surplus Tripura to spend crores on rice imports -Debraj Deb

-The Indian Express

While procurement has become popular among farmers, insufficient collection is forcing the government to shell out hundreds of crores every year for rice imports while they have got all the rice right at home.

Tripura’s BJP-led state government is procuring 10,000 MT paddy from farmers at Minimum Support Price (MSP) starting Monday, even as the Centre’s Food Corporation of India (FCI), which procured paddy for the first time here in 2018, has declined to do so this year.

Unlike 2018, when paddy was procured from 10 locations, the government is buying paddy at Rs. 1750 per quintal in 20 locations spread across 18 rural development blocks.

However, this procurement accounts for merely 1.25 percent of paddy produced in Tripura and the state government still spends over Rs. 600 crores for FCI imports every year. So, why is the government spending hundreds of crore when it has got all the stocks it needs right at home?

“We procured 10 thousand MT paddy from the state with support from Food Corporation of India (FCI) last year. We tried to convince them to repeat it but they have declined so far. So, we have decided to procure 10,000 MT paddy at Rs. 1,750 per quintal on our own with a cumulative subsidy of Rs. 2.25 crores”, Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Manoj Kanti Deb told reporters.

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The Indian Express, 10 June, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/tripura/lack-of-milling-facility-forces-paddy-surplus-tripura-to-spend-crores-on-rice-imports-5773444/

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