Food Minister inspects private mills ahead of paddy procurement

CM has directed distribution of quality rice to family cardholders, he says

Minister for Food and Civil Supplies R. Sakkarapani on Thursday expressed hope that paddy procurement would surpass the target this year also.

He was talking to reporters here after inspecting a private mill. engaged by Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation to convert paddy procured from farmers as rice for distribution through the public distribution system, at Vallam.

Mr. Sakkarapani said that during last procurement season 40,000 tonnes more paddy were procured by the Corporation against a target of 32 lakh tonnes.

In the current season, the procured quantity had already crossed 34 lakh tonnes against the target of 43 lakh tonnes of paddy. With four months left in the season, the total procurement would surpass the annual target.

Stating that Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had instructed officials to ensure distribution of quality rice to family cardholders. Hence, mills engaged for hulling of paddy procured by the Corporation were being inspected.

During the inspection, mill owners recounted the problems they faced in hulling, he said and added that the presence of black grains found in PDS rice was primarily due to high moisture content with which the paddy was procured in the past.

The previous government had procured paddy from farmers with 20% to 21%t moisture content after getting the consent of the Union government, he pointed out.

In order to save and preserve the paddy procured by farmers in delta districts, Cuddalore and Tiruchi districts from getting affected due to natural calamities, it had been proposed to set up silos in the districts, Mr. Sakkarapani said.

Instructions had been issued to officials to ensure quick movement of paddy procured at direct purchase centres to godowns or mills by road and through rail or by road to other districts.

The Food Minister also said that new ration cards had been issued to 2,11,950 families after formation of the present government.

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