Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief secretary, Asit Tripathy, has given a higher target for paddy procurement in 2020-21.

“The paddy procurement be higher than the last year”, Tripathy told the meeting convened to review the preparation for Kharif paddy procurement. The paddy procurement I. 2019-20 was 75.56 lakh tonnes.

The food supply and consumer welfare secretary Vir Vikram Yadav told the meeting that the in districts like Bargarh, Sambalpur, Nuapada, Kalahandi and Subarnapur, where paddy will be arrive in the market early, mandis will be opened from the first week on November. He said by now 3337 mandis are ready for opening. According to him 1315 custom Miller’s have been qualified to purchase paddy.

The secretary said 2857 PACSs and 224 Women SHGs would be involved in the procurement this year.

Yadav said 14.94 lakh farmers have registered to participate in the procurement this year compared to last year. This is 21% higher than the last year’s 12.35 lakh. The number of marginal, small and medium farmers registered this year has increased by 21%,22% and 24% respectively.

Development commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, agriculture production commissioner RK Sharma and agriculture principal secretary Dr. Sourav Garg were present.