Nepal Food Corporation (NFC), the state-owned food supplier, is planning to purchase around 30,000 tonnes paddy from various parts of the country this year.
The NFC is purchasing paddy from Mahendranagar, Dhangadhi, Rajapur, Tikapur, Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, Birgunj, Lahan, Janakpur, Biratnagar and Birtamod, said Shreemani Raj Khanal, officiating Chief Executive Officer of NFC.
The corporation will start purchasing paddy within a week, he added
According to him, the Corporation will purchase paddy based on the minimum support price fixed by the government and the present market price.
The government has recently fixed the minimum support price of coarse paddy at Rs. 2,532.80 per quintal and Rs. 2,673.16 per quintal for medium paddy. The price fixed this year is higher by Rs. 200 per quintal compared to the minimum price of last year.
Stating that it is the responsibility of NFC to follow the direction of the government, he, however, said that the NFC could not buy paddy by paying more than the minimum support price fixed by the government.
Primary Procurement Committee, formed under the chairmanship of the Chief District Officer (CDO), will fix price of products following the minimum support price, he said.
The government fixed the minimum support price of paddy and directed the NFC to purchase paddy from the farmers to control the price hike and not to reduce the support price, said Khanal.
According to him, the government used to fix the minimum support price of paddy by adding around 20 per cent profit on the production cost.
"We are expecting to produce 19,000 tonnes of rice from 30,000 tonnes of paddy. Besides, we will purchase additional rice if required," he said.
According to him, the farmers have to produce the citizenship certificate before the purchase committee of NFC while selling paddy as this provision was a must to control the sales of paddy by the Indian farmers and traders.
Last year, NFC was unable to purchase paddy as per the target due to high price given by the traders than the minimum support price, he said, adding that NFC target was to support the famers so that they could sell their products in a reasonable price.
The NFC has planned to supply around 154,000 quintals of rice to 23 highly food-deficit districts this year.