Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is going to involve large number women self-help groups (WSHGs) in the State in the paddy procurement during this season.

The State had procured paddy through 17 WSHGs on a pilot basis in Kalahandi district last season. With the success of the pilot project, the State has decided to involve 150 WSHGs in Bargarh, Bhadrak, Bolangir, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Koraput, Nuapada, Sambalpur and Subarnapur districts this season.

This has been decided at a high-level meeting chaired by chief secretary Asit Tripathy, here on Wednesday.

Besides the WSHGs, the government will procure through 2668 primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) . The PACS will go for online procurement except the 125 located in the interior pockets where there is no dependable internet facilities.

Setting a target of procuring 60 lakh tonnes of paddy during this season, the State has registered as many as 12.35 lakh farmers for P-Pass system. It has also enlisted 3311 mandis, 259 depots and 1300 millers for the procurement exercises. The procurement will started from November 2019 and will continue till March 2020.

The meeting has decided that millers those have not refunded 100% rice towards the paddy processed by them or the those who have defaulted in clearing the dues of supply corporation would not be involved in paddy procurement this season.

The Central government has fixed the paddy procurement prices at Rs 1815 per quintal of common grade paddy and Rs 1835 per quintal of A-Grade paddy.

Agriculture principal secretary Sourav Garg, food supply and consumer welfare secretary Veer Vikram Yadav, information and IT secretary Manoj Mishra, Mission Sakhti director Sujata Kartikeyan were present.