State

State seeks paddy quality relaxation without value cut

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has urged the Centre for modification in relaxation allowed in the uniform specification of paddy for kharif marketing season (KMS) 2017-18.State Secretary of Food, Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department Vir Vikram Yadav has requested Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, to suitably modify the relaxed specification of fair average quality (FAQ) norms of paddy.

On February 7, though the Centre had relaxed FAQ norms of paddy in 15 districts, the relaxation was made with full value cut by enhancing the parameters of damaged, discoloured, sprouted and weevilled grains up to 12 per cent against the existing limit of five per cent.Odisha had raised its objection stating that the paddy with relaxed norms will be purchased Rs 1,410 per quintal instead of minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,550 which means the farmers will not get any benefit after relaxation of quality norms.

After the State's request, the Centre had deputed four teams to analyse quality of paddy affected in unseasonal rains. The teams had conducted a check in 19 districts but the Centre allowed relaxation in 15 districts excluding Cuttack, Jajpur, Puri and Boudh.

'The declared relaxation with full value cut is detrimental to the interest of farmers. On the other hand, no relaxation in out turn ratio (OTR) and rice has been allowed. Practically it is not possible to have the same OTR from immature, shrivelled and shrunken grains. With relaxation in refraction of paddy, it will be difficult to get FAQ quality rice. Considering this, the quality norms for rice should also be relaxed for the interest of the farmers,' said an official.

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