Slow paddy procurement in drought-hit Bihar
Patna: The government agencies in drought-hit Bihar have procured a low of over 7,500 tonnes paddy in the last two months, against the target of 10.5 lakh tonnes this kharif season, officials said on Monday.
"In the last 55 days since the procurement season kicked off, the government agencies have made paddy procurement of only 7,583 tonnes, a poor record so far," an official of the state agriculture department told a news agency.
The Food Corporation of India procured 4,026 tonnes paddy, BISCOMAUN 3,036 tonnes, and NAFED 521 tonnes.
According to another official, the state government targeted to procure 10.5 lakh tonnes paddy from farmers this kharif season and nearly two lakh tonnes from rice mills as levy. The state made a record paddy procurement of more than 11 lakh tonnes last year.
"Bihar is witnessing slow procurement of paddy this year thanks to the government agencies," the official said.
Contrary to Bihar, the government agencies in Punjab have made a record paddy procurement of 1.28 crore tonnes.
The drought has affected hundreds of thousands of people, particularly farmers, in Bihar for the second consecutive year.
Bihar normally produces 45 to 50 lakh tonnes of paddy every year. This year's output is likely to be less than 30 lakh tonnes, while last year it was 34 lakh tonnes.
In August, the Bihar government declared all the 38 districts drought-hit due to rainfall deficit of nearly 25 percent. Inadequate rains had severely hit paddy sowing and transplantation in most districts except Araria, East and West Champaran.
Over a dozen districts in Magadh and Patna divisions were worst hit. Last year, the government declared 26 districts drought-hit.