Bhubaneswar: In a bid to improve nutritional consumption among the PDS card holders, the State Government on Monday decided to distribute 1 g of ragi at Rs 1 per kg per card holder. This decision was taken at the high level Millet Mission meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here today.
Padhi directed to pilot the ragi distribution in seven districts namely Gajapati, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nuapada and Rayagada in the month of July. He further directed the Millet Mission to promote consumption of ragi in urban pockets through tie-ups with bakeries, biscuit manufacturers, sweet stalls and mega retail counters.
Principal Secretary Sourav Garg who presented the issues related to ragi procurement and distribution siad that around 17,500 quintals of ragi would be distributed to card holders. The future of the programme will depend on the acceptability and impact of the pilot, he said.
It was further decided to procure around 1 lakh quintals of ragi from farmers in Khariff season at minimum support price of Rs 2,897 per quintal. Padhi said, The prime objective of Government intervention is to fetch good market price to the ragi farmers and to prohibit any distress sale.”
Development Commissioner Asit Kumar Tripathy directed to create awareness among the card holders about availability of ragi at fair prices shop.
Director of Agriculture, Muthukumar apprised that in the Khariff season 2018 a total number of 24,499 farmers were registered and verified for procurement of ragi. Out of them 6,622 farmers sold their surplus product to TDCC. The procurement was done through 68 societies in 8 districts at Rs 2,897 per quintal.
Around 17,986 quintals of rice was procured. He added that because of Government purchase at the MSP, the farmers also got a higher price from the ragi traders.