APDCL Assam paddy procurement Morigaon
Representative image

Guwahati: While Morigaon is one of the 13 districts in Assam, where the National Food Security Mission (NFSM – Rice) is implemented, the district is all set to fail miserably in meeting its target for paddy procurement this time.

The district administration, procurement agencies and the private enterprises responsible to meet the target of paddy procurement will be left with no options, but to blame the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) for their failure.

On January 8 this year, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had ordered procurement agencies to initiate steps to procure at least 10 lakh metric tons of paddy at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) from farmers.

And of the set target of 10 lakh metric tons of paddy for procurement, Morigaon has the commitment of 42,600 metric tons. After all, it is the rice bowl of Central Assam.

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The CM had directed agencies including FCI, AFCSCL, NAFED, NACOF, NCCF and ASAMB to initiate all steps to meet the target of 10 lakh metric tons of paddy this year.

The target of paddy procurement at the MSP was set by the Chief Minister to give the farmers a ‘major financial relief’ and making agriculture economically more viable in Assam.

Surprisingly, the APDCL, out of the blue, has emerged as an evil in Assam Chief Minister’s paddy procurement mission.

The APDCL, which is the lone power distribution company in Assam, has arbitrarily, disconnected supply of power to Kunkuni Rice, the largest and the most modern rice mill by an indigenous Assamese entrepreneur in Morigaon district.

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In the midst of peak paddy procurement season, the APDCL, on February 7, disconnected the power supply to Kunkuni Rice, which is located at Dolbari Industrial Estate in Morigaon district.

Kunkuni Rice is the largest paddy procurement and milling unit (with a capacity of 5 tons) for NAFED in Morigaon district.

Paddy procurement in Morigaon suffered a major setback because of APDCL’s whimsical decision to disconnect power supply to the largest rice mill of the district.

In fact, the APDCL arbitrary action has derailed the entire supply chain, and has badly affected the agricultural economy during the peak paddy procurement season.

According to data available with Northeast Now, Morigaon district could achieve only about 35 percent of the target of paddy procurement till April 26.

Unfortunately, in some of the areas, paddy procurement has been as low as 7 percent in Morigaon district.  

As a result, a large section of the farmers are worried. And taking advantage of the situation, some unscrupulous middlemen have started motivating the farmers to sell their paddy, at a price much lower than the MSP.

The district administration of Morigaon is also definitely not happy because it will not be able to meet the target of paddy procurement (as mandated by the Chief Minister) this season.

Rinkhong Mushahary, additional deputy commissioner of Morigaon said he was not aware of the fact that power supply of the largest rice mill of the district has been snapped by APDCL.

Assistant Director, FCS & CA, Bipul Talukdar said that he was aware of the fact that the largest rice mill of Morigaon district is without power supply since February 7.

“Since the rice mill is in dispute with APDCL, we are not really in a state of commenting anything about it. Smaller rice mills are there and paddy procurement has been going on through them”, Talukdar said.

Though Talukdar made a guarded statement on the issue, it is obvious that APDCL’s whimsical decision has come as a major dampener for Assam CM’s paddy procurement mission.    

According to the paddy procurement data, only 367.97 metric tons of paddy was procured by NAFED at Dolbari area till April 26 against its target of 5,000 metric tons.

Similarly, AFCSCL also has a target of 8,000 metric tons of paddy procurement from Dolbari area, and till April 26, only 2211.2 metric tons of paddy was procured.

NE NOW NEWS

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