Bhubaneswar: Keeping in mind the damage caused to paddy cultivation during the drought and floods this year, the State Government fears that Odisha might face shortage of food grains in 2012.

Talking to the Mediapersons, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Niranjan Pujari said, “We will perceive paucity of food grains next year as paddy cultivation was seriously damaged in the main producing district like Bolangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi and Subarnapur due to severe drought and twin floods.”

The Government is unlikely to achieve its target of procuring 28 lakh metric ton (MT) rice (42 lakh MT) during this season. 7.7 lakh MT paddy had been purchased through different agencies since October 1. Still the procurement of paddy this season by the Government might not reach last season’s achievement of 25 lakh MT, said Sources.

As per sources, the shortfall in rice procurement made State Government to urged the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to limit sending rice from Odisha to other states to 50,000 MT. Last year FCI had sent over 3 lakh MT of rice to other states.

“We hope to procure around 22 lakh MT of rice. But in case we fails, we would use 2.5 lakh MT stock available with FCI since last year,” the officer revealed.