The State government is making all arrangements for the procurement of paddy and already the activities have commenced.
According to sources, paddy was grown in about 64 lakh acres across the State and about 1.51 crore metric tonnes of paddy was expected to arrive in the market, out of which 1 crore MTs would be procured by the government.
As part of the procurement planning, the Civil Supplies Department plans to open 6,900 centres in the State and already half of them, about 3,500 centres were opened. So far 3 lakh metric tonnes of paddy worth ₹ 700 crore was procured from farmers and an amount of ₹ 100 crore was already paid into their accounts. Another ₹ 600 crore is yet to be paid and the process is on.
It is estimated that about 25 crore gunny bags are required for this purpose, out of which 10 crore bags are already with the government. The remaining 15 crore bags are yet to be procured.
Tenders were reportedly floated to get 6 crore old gunny bags while the remaining would be directly brought from the mills. To avoid any problem in stocking of the paddy, the capacity of millers to stock paddy was increased by three times – if a mill capacity is 5,000 MTs it would be asked to stock 15,000 MTs. “We are geared up to meet all the requirements in paddy procurement and if necessary, the department would hire godowns and stock paddy in case millers are unable to do so,” informed an official in the Civil Supplies Department.
Meanwhile, Civil Supplies Commissioner V. Anil Kumar visited Medak on Monday and held a review meeting with officials on paddy procurement. He has directed the officials to use the godowns at Nizam Deccan Sugars Limited (NDSL) if necessary, stating that the paddy production in the State was increased five fold from 24 lakh metric tonnes in 2015 to 141 lakh metric tonnes in 2020.
Farmers are facing problems in paddy procurement in the erstwhile Medak district. At some places getting lorries to lift the stock has become difficult , while at some other places farmers are being forced to offer additional amounts to make the lorry drivers come and lift the stock. At least once incident was reported, probably for the first time in the State, where paddy weighed and stocked to transport to the mill was stolen by unidentified persons.
At Kondapaka in Siddipet district, 47 paddy-filled bags were stolen by unidentified persons on November 12 night.