Imphal: A public meeting on procurement of locally produced Paddy (Phou) by farmers of Manipur for distribution under National Food Security Act (NFSA) was held at Manipur State Film Development Society Auditorium, here, on Monday
The meeting was organised by consumer affairs, food and Public distribution (CAF&PD), Manipur. It was chaired by CAF&PD minister Leishangthem Susindro Meitei.
The procurement of the paddy locally produced is the first step taken up by chief minister N. Biren Singh led government for the future welfare of the farmers.
Susindro said he has been pursuing the state government since his initiation as minister of the department. The FCI officials have come for a survey for the procurement process considering the norms of the FCI department, he added.
The first step is to create a relation between the government and the farmers of the state. The state government will procure the paddy through the district officers and also the women traders who are in this business from time immemorial for their livelihood after forming syndicates in their respective localities according to the rate fixed by the government, he said.
The minister appealed the farmers to have faith in the steps taken up by the government as it has made a commitment on making the project successful. The state government will make necessary arrangement to solve the problems face by the farmers. There will be a modification in the irrigation system for a successful farming in the state through the irrigation projects taken up by the government. Double and triple cropping will ultimately be taken up after the success of the first step, Susindro said.
Stating that a collective approach of various government departmentsis necessary forexecution of the project, tge minister asked for co-operation of the departments and the farmers for successful achievement of the project for the first stepon procurement of the paddy.The interest of the women traders of the state will also be taken into account for achievement of the project, he added.
Y. Robindro Singh, manager (movement), FCI, gave a detailed account on the feasibility of the procurement process of the FCI. He said the central government extends price support to wheat and paddy through FCI and state agencies. The crops identified by the government is procured at Minimum Support Price (MSP) under the India Government policy. The process considers the cost of production, demand and supply, international rate and the living standard of the farmers.
Government agencies undertake MSP operation at mandis/temporary purchase centres/aggregation points. Government intervenes if the MSP is lower than the usual price and purchased the crops temporarily, he added. The procurement system is divided into centralised and decentralised procurement systems and the procurement is done according to this system, he added.
Representatives of the farmer organisations deliberated on the feasibility of the procurement of the paddy under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) considering the problems faced by the farmers at present for sufficient supply of paddy in the state.
Bobby Waikhom, commissioner, CAF&PD; Robertson Asem, director, CAF&PD; Om Pratap, DGM, FCI; officials and staffs ofCAF&PD, representatives of the farmer groups and NGOs attended the public meeting.