Raipur, India [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, known as the country’s rice bowl, will generate 300 megawatts (MW) of power from rice-paddy husk by the end of 2007, official sources said.“The state currently produces 1,405 MW of power, including 1,280 MW of thermal and 125 MW of hydropower. It will be able to generate 300 MW with eight paddy-husk based plants to be completed during next 18 months,” said a top official in the Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA). More than a dozen private firms have been offered technical assistance and free guidance by CREDA to set up husk based power plants. Despite being hit by drought for the third consecutive year, Chhattisgarh procured a record 3.34 million tons of paddy on support prices from farmers between October 2005 and January 2006, across 16 districts and paid Rs.19.58 billion [US$427 million] to farmers. Last week, Chief Minister Raman Singh laid the foundation stone for the construction of a paddy husk-based 10 MW capacity private sector power plant at Surajpur in Surguja district.