Ambassa (Tripura): Amidst the Prime Minister’s call of ‘vocal for local’ to empower producers from each locality, the Tripura department of Food and Civil Supplies initiated a plan to empower the peasantry by distributing locally produced rice through Public Distribution System(PDS).
The state of Tripura has 5,90,489 ration cards distributed among 1822 fair price shops spread across the state. The Food department provides different essential commodities at subsidized rates like rice, salt, wheat flour etc.
The erstwhile leftist government of the state provided sugar only to the non-APL ration card holders. This government provides Sugar to all and includes Masoor daal in a subsidized rate. The rice supplied through PDS has been traditionally procured from Food Corporation of India(FCI).
After the incumbent government came to power, they have started to procure paddy directly from the producers through FCI in MSP. And in a move to provide people good quality boiled variety of rice, the rice procured from local producers are being distributed through fair price shops in PDS system on subsidized rates.
The local producers are elated that they have been incorporated into the government mechanism.
The Prime Minister’s call of ‘vocal for local’ seems to have materialized here at least to some extent.
Regarding this the Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Manoj Kanti Deb informed over telephone, “The move is initiated to serve the people of the state the locally produced rice through PDS.
However, the initiative is in the experimental stage. We need more production and more procurement. Still I hope that it will help the local producers”. In fact local people hailed the move greatly. An inhabitant from bordering subdivision of Kamalpur identified as Abhijit Chakraborty informed, “We can never think of having such good quality local rice in a fair price shop. I highly appreciate the move”.
Another inhabitant from Ambassa identified as Gopal Roy claimed, “The government as well as the Food department has done a tremendous job. We are overwhelmed”.
The promotion of local rice being considered as a strong example of ‘vocal for local’ by the experts here.