BHAWANIPATNA: Kalahandi district administration has set an initial target to procure 16,000 tonne of paddy during the rabi season in the first phase. Last year, 2,99,700 tonne of paddy was procured. This year, due to low rainfall during last monsoon, the water levels in ponds and irrigation projects reduced drastically and rivers got dried up. As a result, paddy cultivation in rabi season has been affected severely.
During a meeting held here on Thursday, Collector Brunda D said the rabi paddy procurement will begin from May 5 through 45 purchasing centres of Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS). Rice millers, who have delivered 75 per cent or more of kharif paddy target by May 1, will be allowed to participate in procurement process, she said.
The Collector asked the officials of paddy procurement centres and RMCS to arrange drinking water facilities and infrastructure at the market yards. According to a report of Agriculture department, irrigation facilities were provided to only 63,365 hectares (ha) of land to grow rabi crops this year while 1,11,318 ha in 2013-14 and 1,10,709 ha in 2014-15 were covered.