February 19: The Food Management and Trading Company of the government has less that required stock of food due to its inability to purchase paddy as per the target.
There is a provision for the government to have 33,000 metric tons of food grains in stock for immediate supply during times of crisis like earthquake, flood, landslide, and pandemic. However, the state-owned company has only around 30,000 metric tons of food grains in stock including rice, wheat and paddy.
Although the company had started the work with the aim of purchasing 60,000 metric tons of paddy for the current fiscal year, only 24,279 metric tons of paddy has been purchased till now.
Sharmila Neupane, information officer of the company, said that they have not been able to buy paddy as per their target as the price fixed by the local traders for the varieties of grains purchased by the company is higher than the minimum support price set by the government.
The company is buying paddy from 11 different places of the country in minimum support price. The government had fixed the minimum support price of coarse paddy at Rs 2,735 per quintal and medium paddy at Rs 2,885 per quintal this year. The company is buying Makwanpur paddy from farmers at Rs 2,820 per quintal.
However, local traders in Rajapur of Bardiya are buying the same paddy at Rs 3,000 per quintal. Due to this, the company has not been able to buy paddy as per the target in Bardiya. The Rajapur Rice Mill, which was responsible to buy 40,000 quintals of paddy, has been able to buy only 3,600 quintals so far.
"It is good that farmers are getting higher prices. The government sets the support prices for that. However, due to this, we could not buy it as per our target,” said Dharmaraj Pant, chief of Rajapur Rice Mill.
The company is facing a similar problem in Janakpur as well. They are buying Basmati rice at Rs 4,750 per quintal while the local traders are buying it at Rs 5,000 per quintal.
Jayananda Pandey, senior accounting assistant at the company’s depot in Janakpur, said that 1,000 quintals of Basmati and 1,612 metric tons of Sona Mansuli rice were purchased in Janakpur as of Wednesday.
So far, the company has purchased 5,386 metric ton of Makwanpur paddy from Dhangadhi, 1,499 metric tons of Sona Mansuli and 50 metric ton of Ranjit paddy from Birtamod. Likewise, a total of 1,548 metric tons of Sona Mansuli, Ranjit and Basmati paddy have been brought from Biratnagar, 2,256 metric ton of Sona Mansuli from Lahan, 10 metric tons of Jira Masino and 2,948 metric tons of Sona Mansuli paddy from Birgunj.
Similarly, 18 metric tons of sawa rice has been purchased from Bhairahawa, 947 metric ton of coarse paddy from Mahendranagar, 1,428 metric tons of coarse paddy and 2,361 metric tons of medium paddy from Nepalgunj. They have not been able to buy Marsi rice in Jumla so far.