GUWAHATI, June 17 � The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has extended the deadline for procurement of paddy, specially the Boro paddy, till July 31 next. The decision to extend this procurement time-frame by the Government of India came in the wake of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's taking the matter up with the Union Minister of State for Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs KV Thomas in New Delhi today.
According to an official press release here, the order to this effect has been conveyed today by the Ministry of Food in a letter to the Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), Government of Assam.
Chief Minister Gogoi urged the Union Minister to extend the procurement period till July so that the famers of the State do not have to make distress sale and thus to incur heavy losses. Gogoi also pleaded with the Union Minister for steps to ensure that the FCI makes the procurement at a minimum support price.
It needs mention here that the FCI normally makes paddy procurements within April 30 and this deprives the farmers cultivating Boro paddy. For, they generally harvest in the month of May.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Production Commissioner RT Jindal has instructed the FCI authorities to start procurement of paddy from the farmers of the State immediately, said the press release.
Meanwhile, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) today held a meeting with the senior officials of the State Agriculture Department and the FCI on the issue and in a statement here this evening it has stated that in every district of the State at least two paddy procurement centres would be set up by the FCI in the near future.