SYLHET, June 12: The much-talked about paddy procurement by the Food Department from the farmers is yet to get momentum in the Sylhet region.
So far 1,048 tonnes of paddy has so far been procured in the four districts of the division against the targeted 13,803 tonnes, an official informed on Wednesday.
It includes 319 tonnes in Sylhet, 158 tonnes in Moulvibazar, 299 tonnes in the district of Habiganj and highest 772 tonnes in Sunamganj.
However, the Food Department started rice purchase from its listed millers and so far 16,932 tonnes of rice have been procured.
It includes 2,050 tonnes of parboiled rice and 3,260 tonnes of Atap rice in Sylhet and 1,585 tonnes of parboiled rice and 774 Atap in Moulvibazar.
In Habiganj district, 2,002 tonnes of parboiled rice and 745 tonnes of Atap have been purchased and in Sunamganj, 3,262 tonnes of parboiled and 3,254 tonnes of Atap rice have so far been procured.
It may be stated that rice purchase is being done from the lists millers in the region. It includes 49 for parboiled and 465 for Atap rice, an official in the Food Department informed.
The official admitted the slow progress in paddy purchase for different reasons although there has been a huge demand from common farmers, who harvested a good yield this season.
Especially the Food Department is asked to purchase paddy from only the listed farmers.
However, the government set target for purchasing 68,324 tonnes of rice and 13,803 tonnes of paddy in Sylhet division.
Meanwhile, group of social activists and farmers through rallies and others in all the districts demanded increase in the target of paddy purchase from farmers. They also handed over memo to the food minister as well as to the Prime Minister on same ground.
They alleged highest 5.0 per cent farmers had been listed so that they could supply paddy to the government where as the millers had been contracted for larger supply of rice only to benefit the businesses.
On the other hand, the common farmers are compelled to sell out their produce at lower price even than the production cost, they added.