Minister promises measures to reduce role of middlemen

Minister promises measures to reduce role of middlemen

Steps will be taken to resolve issues pertaining to paddy procurement, Food and Civil Supplies Minister G.R. Anil has said.

He was speaking at a meeting attended by representatives of ‘padasekhara samithis,’ Supplyco, and other officials at the District Collectorate on Thursday to discuss the problems related to paddy procurement.

The Minister said an agreement between the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) and mill owners for the procurement would be finalised before September 20, ahead of the harvest of the second crop.

Online registration

The procurement will be done based on the online registration of farmers. As many as 1,729 farmers have so far registered on the Supplyco portal for the second crop season. The registration process is continuing, Mr. Anil said.

“The government’s policy is to find solutions to issues faced by farmers. Measures will be taken to put an end to the exploitation of farmers. The role of middlemen will be reduced,” the Minister said, adding that the vacant posts of paddy marketing officer and paddy procurement officer would be filled soon.

‘₹431 cr. distributed’

He said that two mobile units would be allotted for Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta districts for measuring the moisture content in harvested paddy. The Minister directed officials to issue Paddy Receipt Sheet (PRS) to farmers within two days of procurement. He said Supplyco had procured paddy worth ₹439 crore from farmers in the district in 2020-21. It has so far distributed ₹431 crore to farmers.

Agriculture Minister P. Prasad said the government would consider setting up panchayat-level committees for paddy procurement. He said that 100 posts of agriculture officers were lying vacant in the State. The posts would be filled in 10 days by recruiting people from the Employment Exchange.

Thomas K. Thomas and M.S. Arun Kumar, MLAs; District Collector A. Alexander; and Supplyco Chairman and Managing Director Ali Asgar Pasha attended the meeting.

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