Talking to reporters on the sidelines of inspecting private rice mills in Thanjavur, Sakkarapani said that the kuruvai harvest was on in full swing in the Delta region and the Chief Minister has advised him to expedite the procurement process so that the entire produce could be procured by the government.
The procurement was being carried out at a rapid pace and the paddy was being sent to other districts for distribution. “Last year, the target for procurement was set at 43 lakh MT and the actual procurement was 45 lakh MT and this year, we expect more than the last year as the yield was comparatively good and the acreage had also increased,” said the Minister.
Since there was no proper pricing for the sugarcane last year, more than 1.5 lakh farmers switched over to paddy and this has resulted in the increase in acreage, he added.
Pointing out that the e-DPC process, which was introduced by the Union government, was widely opposed by farmers, the Minister said that the state government had allowed the conventional method of procurement also and the government would never allow traders to sell paddy posing as farmers. The Minister also warned that stringent punishment would be given to any DPC staff found collecting Rs 40 per bag as commission.