Paddy Growers of Odisha - An Online Bonanza
It provides information about the software of Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS) in Odisha.
With the introduction of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agricultural produce, food production in India received a well-deserved fillip, as it provided insurance to producers against any sharp fall in farm prices. The main crop in Odisha is paddy. The State Government has been procuring paddy from about 10 lakh farmers at multiple locations- more than 3,000 mandis (Paddy Procurement Centres) - during Kharif and Rabi marketing seasons every year.
Though the procurement of paddy aims to benefit the farmers, it initially suffered from problems of improper identification of farmers, lack of farmer- database and harassment of farmers by middlemen. In addition to the above, poor decision support system at procurement centres, the incorrect forecast of produce and volume to be procured and intensive manual documentation also plagued the system.
Furthermore, an improper protocol for management of procurement centres, the absence of transparency in the system, lack of farmers’ interface, inefficient monitoring, etc. also marred the process. Finally, manual payments to farmers through cheques led to delay, losses and corruption.
- To tide over various snags in the paddy procurement operation and make it more stakeholder-friendly
- To digitise the farmer's database along with Aadhaar numbers
- To automate all stages of transactions on paddy procurement at the Society/Market Yard level
- To keep track of the progress of procurement, optimisation of fund flow, and increased farmer participation.
The procurement of paddy is a multi-stakeholder process and involves multiple agencies at the State and Central levels and people like transporters etc. Odisha Government procures more than 60 lakh tonnes of paddy, pumping in about INR 10,000 Cr. annually to the rural economy of the State.
For identification of genuine farmers and computing their saleable surplus produce, the agricultural land data furnished by them were linked to and validated with Bhulekh (a land database maintained by Revenue Department, Government of Odisha). The software of Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS) is integrated through a web-service with the farmer registration software and used by all commission agents for Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) and other State procuring agencies.
Operations at each level from the purchase of paddy at procurement centres, which were recorded manually, are now generated by the software. All information and the paperwork needed throughout the process of paddy procurement, from farmers at Paddy Purchase Centers to transport of such paddy to rice millers for de-husking are done online. Cashless payments are made to farmers for paddy purchase through transfer of funds to their bank accounts.
The initiative has digitised 3000 + paddy procurement centres, 1294 millers, and 235 warehouses which are in turn linked to about 16,000 Fair Price Shops. The automation has not only streamlined operations and brought in transparency but has also reduced the time taken for the manual paperwork and the consequent delay in getting the payment for their paddy released to the farmers.
This intervention, running successfully in Odisha, can be customised to include all high yielding crops in different States. The platform and processes already developed can be replicated throughout India.