Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday directed stepping up measures for procurement of paddy by various agencies to meet the target of 10 lakh metric tonne, officials said.

The state government has set a target to procure 10 lakh mt of paddy at minimum support price (MSP) from farmers to give them major financial relief and make agriculture economically more viable, they said.

Sarma, who held a meeting with various stakeholders, directed the agencies to open more paddy procurement centres, an official release said.

He took stock of the steps taken by the agriculture and revenue departments and the procurement agencies and challenges faced by them, it said.

In the meeting with agencies, including FCI, AFCSCL, NAFED, NACOF, NCCF and ASAMB along with state officials, he gave directions to ensure that only genuine farmers get benefit of this initiative, the release said.

Sarma ordered that registration of farmers be increased in the procurement portal to streamline and expedite paddy procurement.

He directed the officers concerned to make extensive field visits and handhold the farmers to address all issues faced by the farmers during registration.

The chief minister asked the revenue department to issue necessary guidelines to facilitate prompt issue of land related certificates so that more farmers can register on the portal.

He also underlined the need for generating more awareness among farmers about the procurement drive and directed extensive publicity be carried out and farmers sensitised by the agricultural development officers.

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