New Delhi, Nov 16 (PTI) The government's paddy procurement has increased by 20.25 per cent to 281.28 lakh tonnes so far in this kharif season, Punjab contributing the most, the Union Agriculture Ministry said on Monday.
Paddy procurement commenced in Punjab and Haryana from September 26 due to early arrival of the crop, while in other states from October 1.
More than 80 per cent of the country's paddy crop is grown in the kharif season. The government through Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies undertakes procurement of paddy at the minimum support price (MSP).
'Out of the total purchase of 281.28 lakh tonnes, Punjab alone has contributed 196.13 lakh tonnes which is 69.73 per cent of the total procurement,' the ministry statement said.
Total procurement rose by 20.25 per cent till November 15 of the ongoing kharif season from 233.89 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period, it said.
The government has procured paddy at the MSP value of Rs 53,105.70 crore so far, benefitting 24.14 lakh farmers.
For the current year, the Centre has fixed the MSP of paddy (common grade) at Rs 1,868 per quintal, while that of A grade variety has been fixed at Rs 1,888 per quintal.
According to the ministry, MSP procurement of paddy in this kharif 2020-21 marketing season is 'continuing smoothly' in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
In case of cotton, state-run Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has procured 14.65 lakh bales worth Rs 4,187.05 crore from 2,86,547 farmers till November 15.
The buying is going on smoothly in cotton growing areas of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Besides, the government through nodal agencies is buying pulses and oilseeds at MSP under the Price Support Scheme (PSS), which gets operationalised when market rates fall below the support price.
Till November 15, about 58,623.22 tonnes of moong, urad, groundnut pods and soyabean have been procured at MSP value of Rs 325.78 crore from 34,149 farmers in Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
About 33,976.48 tonnes of these commodities were procured in the year-ago period. Similarly, 5,089 tonnes of copra at MSP value of Rs 52.40 crore has been procured from 3,961 farmers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the said period.
In respect of copra and urad, rates are ruling at or above MSP. Respective state governments are making arrangements for commencement of procurement in respect of moong.
The Centre has given nod for procurement of 45.10 lakh tonnes of kharif pulses and oilseeds this year under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) to 10 states as well as 1.23 tonnes of Copra in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Approval for other states will be given on receipt of proposals for procurement as per PSS norms, the ministry added.
Unlike before, the government is releasing the daily procurement data to send a message to farmers protesting against new farm laws that it has no intention of scrapping procurement at MSP. PTI LUX MKJ