Raipur: Under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Chhattisgarh Government has set a new record this year by procuring 97 lakh 97 thousand 122 metric tons of paddy at support price from the farmers of the state. Chhattisgarh has successfully broken the previous year’s record of paddy procurement. Last year, 92 lakh metric tons of paddy was procured in the stat. This year, the mega drive of paddy procurement which was started from December 1, 2021, was successfully completed today on February 7. This year 21,77,283 farmers have sold their paddy on support price, which is 1,23,683 more than the number of farmers who sold paddy last year i.e. 20,53,600. Despite the gunny bag crisis and unseasonal rains in the month of January, completion of paddy procurement drive in the state without any interruption is a remarkable achievement in itself.
Officers and representatives of farmer organizations have expressed joy over the smooth completion of paddy procurement in the state. The farmers have also thanked Chief Minister for extending the stipulated period of paddy procurement from January 31 to February 7, so as to provide an opportunity to the farmers who could not sell paddy due to unseasonal rains. Officials and representatives of farmers’ organizations have said that farmer-friendly Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has extended every possible support to the farmers of the state. Despite the shortage in supply of gunny bags from the central government, Chief Minister and Chhattisgarh Government have ensured availability of adequate number of gunny bags at the local-level, besides making a well-planned arrangement for the paddy procurement in the centers.
It is noteworthy that because of the farmer-friendly policies of Chhattisgarh government, there has been a significant increase in the paddy production as well as in the number of paddy producing farmers in the state, in last three years. This is the reason why the record of paddy procurement on support price in the state is being broken year after year. This year, Chhattisgarh has set a new record by procuring 97.97 lakh metric tons of paddy. In year 2021, 92 lakh metric tons of paddy was procured in the state, whereas in year 2020, 83.94 lakh metric tons and in year 2019, 80.37 lakh metric tons of paddy was procured. This year, a total of 24,06,560 farmers had registered for selling paddy in the Kharif marketing year 2021-22, and the area under paddy cultivation was 30 lakh 10 thousand 880 hectares. Last year, the area under paddy cultivation was was 27 lakh 92 thousand 827 hectares. In the duration of just one year, the number of farmers registered for selling paddy has increased by about 1.25 lakh and the registered area under paddy procurement has increased by 2 lakh 18 thousand.
It is worth mentioning that Chhattisgarh Government is running Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana to promote crop productivity and crop diversification, besides providing a reasonable price of their produce to the farmers. These efforts have stirred a new enthusiasm among the farmers towards agricultural activities in the state. People, who had turned away from agriculture earlier, have also started taking interest in farming again. This is the reason why the number of farmers, the area under cultivation and the crop productivity in the state have significantly increased and enhanced.
Under the guidance of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, the entire process of paddy procurement on support price, prompt payment to the farmers and arrangements for lifting and custom milling of the paddy procured was completed without any interruptions. For the convenience of the farmers, the number of paddy procurement centers was also increased from 2311 to 2484. This made it easier for farmers to sell paddy. Due to paucity of gunny bags for paddy procurement in the state, the farmers were given the facility to bring paddy in their own gunny bags from the very first day of paddy procurement. The price of gunny bags of farmers was also increased from Rs 18 to Rs 25. The farmers have also extended their cooperation in providing gunny bags for paddy procurement. Old gunny bags were also collected from millers and PDS shops for this purpose. This year, 19 thousand 83 crore 97 lakhs have been paid to the farmers in lieu of the paddy procured.
Rajnandgaon district is the leading district in the state terms of paddy procurement on support price. In 149 procurement centers of Rajnandgaon district, 8 lakh 25 thousand 127 metric tons of paddy has been procured till February 7 i.e. the last date of paddy purchase, which is the highest in the state. Janjgir-Champa district has secured the second rank for paddy procurement. Nearly 8 lakh 24 thousand 552 metric tons of paddy has been procured in Janjgir-Champa district. Mahasamund district has secured the third rank by procuring 7 lakh 74 thousand 136 metric tons of paddy.
According to the information received from the Food Department, the quantity of paddy procured in various districts of the state during this mega drive is as follows:- Bastar district 1,58,915 MT, Bijapur 63,703 MT, Dantewada 17,437 MT, Kanker 3,18,793 MT, Kondagaon 1,53,322 MT, Narayanpur 22,794 MT, 46,291 MT in Sukma, 4,84,119 MT in Bilaspur, 69,356 MT in Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi, 1,70,237 MT in Korba, 3,83,622 MT in Mungeli, 5,72,898 MT in Raigarh, 5,19,469 MT in Balod district, 6,30,616 MT in Bemetara district, 4,17,097 MT in Durg, 4,16,281 MT in Kawardha, 6,96,431, MT in Balodabazar, 4,31,397 MT in Dhamtari, 3,31,512 MT in Gariaband, 5,09,931 MT in Raipur, 1,93,867 MT in Balrampur, 1,54,181 MT in Jashpur, 1,40,093 MT in Korea, 2,19,967 MT in Sarguja and 2,50,976 MT in Surajpur district Paddy.
Food Secretary Topeshwar Verma informed that the work of lifting and custom milling of paddy purchased on support price is going on at a fast pace. So far 64.43 lakh metric tonnes of paddy has been lifted. By custom milling, 9.47 lakh metric tonnes of rice has been deposited in Food Corporation of India and 7.66 lakh metric tonnes in Civil Supplies Corporation.