Centre deputes team to TN to find out moisture content in paddy | Chennai News. indiabusinessport.com

CHENNAI: The Union government on Friday deputed a two-member team to Tamil Nadu to ascertain the extent of paddy that had been damaged due to monsoon. This follows a request from the state government earlier requesting the Centre to procure paddy from farmers with moisture content up to 22%.
The central team will collect the paddy samples arriving in the direct procurement centres from the rain-affected districts of with effect from October 15.
In a letter to the managing director of the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation, the department of food and public distribution of the Union ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution said, “It is requested to provide the list of rain-affected districts in Tamil Nadu for collecting the paddy samples with all supporting documents, viz, rainfall data, district wise/taluk wise area unable to harvest, expected quantity to be procured and others.”
Cooperation, food and consumer protection secretary J Radhakrishnan shot off a letter to the Centre last week to relax the norms for moisture content to reduce the hardship of the farmers. He said the state procuring agency, the Civil Supplies Corporation, should be allowed to procure paddy from the farmers with moisture content up to 22% and relax the minimum limit on immature, shrunken, and shrivelled up to 5% as against 3% and damaged, discoloured, sprouted, and weevilled up to 7% as against 5%.
This, “considering heavy rain and the fact that the farmers are totally dependent on the state agency for the sale of paddy under the decentralised procurement scheme,” Radhakrishnan said. He stated that the paddy so procured with moisture relaxation be hulled immediately and the rice would conform to the uniform specification of the Centre.
Due to northeast monsoon and high humidity, arrival of paddy during kuruvai season 2022 and samba season 2023, which commenced in Tamil Nadu in September, is expected to have a high moisture content. The state government pointed to the Centre’s relaxation of the moisture content up to 19% as against the norms of 17% in 2021 and up to 20% in 2020.
There were protests in delta districts recently demanding procurement with 22% moisture content.

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