AGARTALA: Tripura Agriculture Minister Pranajit Sigharoy assured that the interest of the farmers in the State will be protected at any cost and like last year, this time also, the government is going to procure paddy to ensure minimum support price. The Food department will conduct the procurement with the help of the Food Corporation of India.
He said the procurement of paddy was supposed to begin from May 18 but had to be deferred due to the prevailing lockdown situation. It has been decided that the procurement will begin from the first week of June. He said this time, the government will open more procurement centers to avoid many gatherings in view of the fear of COVID infection.
It may be recalled that last year, the government procured over 20,000 MT of paddy from farmers at a support price of Rs 18.50 per kg. Procurement of paddy started in the State immediately after the BJP-IPFT government came to power. As a result, the market price of paddy also has risen to Rs 14/15 per kg which was Rs 9/10 per kg earlier.
The minister said four lakh seventy two thousand people are directly involved in agriculture in the State and due to procurement at a MSP, all of them were benefited and their income has increased.
He said the government has already taken all necessary steps so that the farming community in the State can start work in the field at an appropriate time despite the prevailing lockdown. There is enough stock of seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and all other necessary things and the farmers will not find any problem. He said the departmental officers are taking all necessary steps to remove all possible difficulties the farmers may face from cultivating the fields to marketing their products.
The Minister was talking to the reporters after attending a programme organized by the BJP at Belonia to distribute relief materials to the distressed people. Local MLA Arun Chandra Bhawmik was also present. He told party workers to carry the message of the government's development schemes to the farmers so that they can avail of the benefits of these programmes.