Kolkata, Jan 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) Over two months have passed since the current paddy procurement season started in West Bengal in the beginning of November, but the state government is far away from meeting the procurement target.
Sources from the state Food and Supplies Department said that as on date, procurement of just around 19 lakh tonnes of paddy had been possible as against the season's target for 55 lakh tonnes. This means that almost 66 per cent of the target needs to be achieved for the remaining part of the procurement seasons that will last till the beginning of the next month.
The procurement of around 19 lakh tonnes of paddy so far, as per records of the state government, has been achieved by purchasing the crop from 1.63 lakh farmers who registered themselves for that purpose. Generally, the harvesting of the kharif crop is completed by the end of October following which the procurement season starts which continues for around three months.
According to sources from the Department, although the procurement process started in November, in the beginning, the process was extremely slow.
They explained that at that point of time, the price was lower than the minimum support price of Rs 2,260 per quintal in addition to a transport subsidy of Rs 20 per quintal provided by the state government. However, the price started picking up and currently the price quoted by the state government per quintal is Rs 100 lower than the price quoted by private dealers and the difference in certain cases even increases to Rs 150 per quintal.
This differential price makes the farmers keen to sell their products to the private dealers instead of the state government.