States yet to kick off pilot projects of oilseed purchases by private players
Kharif harvesting has started across the country, but state governments are yet to kick off the pilot projects of oilseed procurement by private players.
Last month, the Centre had proposed eight pilot projects under the umbrella scheme of Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan to procure oil seeds through Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme.
It was to allow oil manufacturers, processors and traders to bring in their expertise and efficiency to procure oilseed The pilot projects were to be approved by the agriculture ministry on a first come, first served basis.
A number of states said that they were unlikely to start the pilot project this year as it was difficult to register farmers or even come up with tenders with peak harvest to begin in a week. The states are, however, keen on the implementation of the Price Support Scheme (PSS), under which Nafed has been given permission to procure 23 lakh tonnes in the first phase. “To get the benefit of the PPPS scheme, farmers must be registered along with submission of identity proof and other related land records. Further, to identify private players we will have to go for the tendering process, which will take time. So, this year we will go for the PSS scheme if groundnut prices fall below the minimum support price,” said an official from the Gujarat agriculture department.
Agriculture ministry officials said they had sent guidelines to the state government recently and would be following up with them. “We plan to have eight to 12 pilot projects for oilseed procurement. The approximate cost of one pilot project we have estaimted will be close to Rs 50 crore,” said an official.Madhya Pradesh, which has successfully implemented the Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS), where farmers have directly paid into their bank accounts the difference between the MSP and their actual selling price, will continue with the scheme, said officials. The pollbound state has cleared the proposal in the cabinet, they said.
All the procurement under the scheme will be up to 25 % of the production in the state if prices are below the MSP.
Agriculture ministry officialssaid that the pilot project of private players in the procurement of foodgrains would not only have helped ensure farmers get MSP without additional burden on the government but also helped create demand and influence market in places where production was more. The government had envisaged that private traders would set up warehouses and processing mills at a later stage.
The private players were to be given maximum service charges up to 15% of the notified MSP. As part of the incentive , the private agencies were to be offered facilitating business environment including liberalisation of stock limits under the relevant control order, said an official from the AP government.
By BOA Bureau