New Delhi: In view of bumper paddy crops, Bihar government has urged the Centre to open 200 paddy procurement centres in Bihar. The ruling dispensation in the state has set a target of buying 30 lakh tonnes paddy on minimum support price this year.

Addressing a meeting of food ministers of states here, Bihar Food and Supply Minister Shyam Rajak said, “This year, the state could witness abundant paddy crops to the tune of nearly 70 million tonnes. To provide a reasonable price to the farmers, the state government has decided to purchase 30 lakh tonnes of paddy this year.”

“Food Corporation of India (FCI) has been given a target of 5 lakh tonnes of paddy procurement whereas Bihar State Financial Corporation (BSFC) and Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) have been given a target of 7 lakh tonnes and 18 lakh tonnes respectively. We need at least 200 centres in the face of the bumper production of paddy,” he said.

“Milling capacity is very low in Bihar, so the State Food Corporation will have to carry out rice milling outside the state. The state government will bear the expenses of the rice milling and its transportation,” he added.

He also said that, “There is a lack of technical personnel in the state’s FCI. Like previous year, the technical staff members have not yet sent from other states. The Center should ensure technically competent personnel in Bihar as soon as possible. The paddy procurement centers of FCI shall be provided with sufficient funds so that the farmers would not face any financial bottleneck.”