Agartala: Two weeks after the Tripura government announced it would procure 20,000 metric tonnes of paddy from Tripura farmers at a minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 18.68 per kg, the procurement started from Tuesday in two locations.

The state government aims to procure 20,000 metric tonnes of paddy this ‘Rabi season’ through 29 centres across eight districts of the state.

The chief minister said that in the past, there was no arrangement to buy paddy through MSP in Tripura. As a result, the farmers would be deprived. 

“The Tripura government is buying paddy from farmers at Rs 1,868 per quintal. The state government will spend Rs 37.36 crore on this. In addition, the accessory cost will be another Rs 6.87 crore,” Deb said.

He also urged the farmers across the state to sell their paddy at the nearest agriculture department or sub-divisional magistrate’s office and avail the minimum support price.

Meanwhile, speaking with reporters, Manoj Kanti Deb, minister for food, civil supplies and consumer affairs said that the procurement of paddy has started from Tuesday in two locations.

“We have started procuring paddy at MSP in two locations—Udaipur in Gomati district and Sonamura in Sepahijala district– from today (Tuesday). We have set a target of procuring 20,000 MT paddy,” Manoj said.

About 60,000 metric tonnes of paddy was procured from farmers across the state, he added. 

“The paddy, which was bought for Rs 1,000 per quintal, is now being sold at Rs 1,868 per quintal. This has boosted the farmers’ morale and as a result, yields have also increased,” Manoj added.

He claimed that 35,000 farmers in Tripura have benefited since the commencement of the program to purchase paddy at the MSP. 

According to official figures, the government purchased 27,271 metric tons of paddy in 2018-19, and 31,444 metric tons in 2019-20, and 11,264 metric tons in 2020-21. Nath said that while Rs 107.66 crore went to the farmers, Rs 16.28 crore was spent from the state treasury.

The minimum support price was also gradually increased from Rs 17.50 per kg to Rs 18.15 per kg in 2019-20 and Rs 18.68 per kg in 2020-21.

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