Bhubaneswar, Jan 16: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has requested to Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal to direct the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to procure 10 lakh metric tonne (MT) of parboiled rice from Odisha in 2023-24 financial year.
In a letter, Pradhan requested Goyal to issue instructions to FCI to procure 10 LMT of parboiled rice from Odisha in addition to augmentation of procurement targets, which will significantly help secure the livelihood of lakhs of farmers of the state whose main source of earning has been through MSP operations of paddy procurement.
“As you may be aware, Odisha is the fourth largest paddy-producing state in the country. In the Kharif Season of 2023-24, the rice yield in Odisha has been indeed phenomenal and procurement has already commenced which is accruing good return to lakhs of farmers in the state of Odisha through the MSP operations,” the Minister informed.
Due to the bumper harvest, it is estimated that approximately 79 LMT rice will be collected in Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2023-24 in the state of Odisha, he said.
The Government of India has allocated a target of procuring 44.28 LMT of rice in the KMS 2023-24 in the initial allocation of targets. However, besides meeting the state's own requirement of rice for NFSA, SFSA and other welfare schemes, enough parboiled fortified rice would be left in excess which needs to be evacuated by FCI, the Minister said in the letter.