For the first time in Odisha, free canteens for farmers have been opened near paddy procurement centers to provide midday meal to those who bring their produce from far flung villages.
Bhubaneswar: For the first time in Odisha, free canteens for farmers have been opened near paddy procurement centers to provide midday meal to those who bring their produce from far-flung villages. Canteens have been set up in Gajapati district and at least four such canteens have been opened in Paralakhemundi, Kashinagar, Upalada and Garbandh, a district administration official said on Monday. Gajapati Collector Lingaraj Panda said vegetable food prepared by women self-help groups (WSHGs) of the areas was being served to farmers at free canteens run by the Paralakhemundi Regulated Market Committee (RMC).
“We have started the canteen system to provide free lunch to farmers who come to procurement centers with their produce and cannot return home for their meals,” Panda said. Apart from food, free soft drinks and pure water are also being provided to the farmers at the procurement centers by the RMC. “The aim of the program is that farmers do not face problems while visiting mandis with their produce. We plan to open at least 10 to 15 such canteens in the district in the coming days,” he said.
Civil Supplies Officer Prafulla Kumar Behera said that about 10 to 20 farmers are being given free food in each canteen every day and the RMC is bearing the cost of running them. RMC Secretary L Raghu Babu said that WSHGs are given Rs 60 per meal. At present four WSHGs have been assigned the responsibility and discussions are on with others to prepare food in some other areas. Behera said Gajapati district has 66 mandis for paddy procurement from 14,320 farmers who have voluntarily registered to supply their products. 21 WSHGs are also engaged in paddy procurement activity.
Farmers going to government markets in Odisha will get full food, government started free canteen
Story first published: Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 16:35 [IST]