FCI admits to anomalies in procurement of rice in Assam

Guwahati, Dec 18 : Assures farmers of buying rice at minimum support price.

Admitting anomalies in procurement of rice in Assam, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) today assured the farmers of the state to buy rice at minimum support price (MSP) within a week.

FCI also assured the farmers to send a proposal to the Centre for construction of rice-buying centres in at least five places in Assam, besides godowns and rice mills in every district of the state.

The assurance from the FCI came after farmers under the banner of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) held a protest demonstration outside the FCI zonal office demanding purchase of rice by FCI at MSP. It alleged that farmers of Assam were not getting the minimum support price for their rice despite increase in rice production in the state this year.

ML Koshti, zonal manager of FCI admitted anomalies in rice procurement in Assam and middlemen taking advantage of the situation.

Assam witnessed a boom in rice production this year due to congenial weather condition and use of hybrid seeds.

In the year 2009-10, Assam produced around 44 lakh metric tonne of rice and occupied the second position among all the states in the country.

It was a rice-surplus state last year and the trend is expected to continue this year too. In this financial year, the state’s agriculture department has set rice production target at 46 lakh metric tonne.

Rice cultivation occupies almost two-third of the total cropped area in the state.