The State government has decided to offer Rs.1,500 a quintal to farmers on purchase of Sona Masoori paddy and other such fine varieties during kharif procurement operations beginning October 1.

The decision to increase the price has been taken to encourage farmers to cultivate fine varieties of paddy.

The price now being offered is Rs.220 a quintal higher than the Minimum support price of Rs.1,280 for any fine variety of paddy, inclusive of the recent Rs.170 a quintal hike announced by the Centre, Minister for Civil Supplies D. Sridhar Babu told reporters here on Saturday.