New Delhi, Oct 22 (PTI) The government's paddy procurement at the minimum support price (MSP) has risen 28.55 per cent to 116.66 lakh tonne in less than a month compared with the year-ago same period, with maximum grain been purchased from Punjab alone, according to the Union food ministry.
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 MSP.
'Paddy procurement in the 2020-21 kharif marketing season is continuing smoothly in the procuring states of Punjab, Haryana, UP, TN, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, J&K and Kerala,' the ministry said in a statement.
Till October 21, about 116.66 lakh tonne of paddy was procured, up 28.55 per cent from 90.76 lakh tonne in the year-ago period, it said.
'Out of the total purchase of 116.66 lakh tonnes, Punjab alone has contributed 75.11 lakh tonne, which is 64.38 per cent of total procurement,' the minister noted.
Paddy has been procured from 10.09 lakh farmers at the MSP value of Rs 22,026.26 crore, it added.
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.
In case of cotton, state-owned Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has procured 2,72,136 bales at an MSP value of Rs 76,821 lakh from 53,181 farmers till October 21.
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 October 14, about 883.34 tonne of moong and urad at MSP value of Rs 6.36 crore has been procured from 862 farmers in Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Similarly, 5,089 tonnes of copra at an 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 43.24 lakh tonnes of kharif pulses and oilseeds this year under the 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 HRS