JAMMU, AUGUST 26: A meeting of officers of different departments and Rice millers associated with Food Corporation of India (FCI) and FCS & PA was convened today by Director Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare, Jammu, K.K. Shrama here at Krishi Bhawan, Talab Tillo, Jammu.
The purpose of the meeting was to review the preparedness regarding milling of Paddy procured on Minimum Support Price (MSP) from the farmers, fortification of Rice thereof and distribution through Public Distribution System (PDS) in UT of J&K.
The meeting was attended by Joint Director (Inputs), A. S. Reen, Joint Director (Marketing), Mahesh Verma, AGM (QC) FCI Jammu, H. S. Sahu, DGM (R) FCI, P. Lokanadham, Undersecretary FCS & CA, Susheel Kumar Mattoo, besides Rice Millers of Jammu, Samba and Kathua.
The Director underlined that in an ambitious attempt to combat the serious problem of anemia due to malnutrition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an announcement to mandate rice fortification in all social safety net schemes by 2024. He said that Rice Fortification, a process of adding micronutrients like iron, folic acid and vitamin B12, is an effective, preventive and cost-efficient strategy to address the nutrition problem within a short period.
He further informed the participants that entire Custom Milled Rice (CMR) to be procured during the ensuing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2022-23 shall be fortified rice. “So there is urgent need to set up required infrastructure by rice millers of J&K engaged in milling of paddy procured by FCI to ensure supply of fortified rice by the process of blending 1% Fortified Rice kernels (FRK) with the regular rice in upcoming KMS-2022-23. Further the entire cost of rice fortification would be borne by the Government of India (GOI) as part of Food subsidy till its full implementation up to June, 2024” he added.
After deliberations, the meeting decided that it is mandatory for all millers to ensure the establishment of blending units as soon as possible. The requirement of standard godowns can be fulfilled by utilizing benefits under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) scheme, said Director Agriculture. The decision was also taken to work regarding scaling up the ceiling of 3 quintals to 3.5 quintals per kanal of paddy in procurement portal as par with Punjab.
Pertinently, 9622 paddy growers have been already registered on “FEAST Procurement Portal” and getting benefit of direct procurement on MSP
Issues involved in the rice fortification process and improvement in functioning of Paddy Procurement Mandies were also discussed threadbare in the meeting.