The Uttar Pradesh cabinet has approved the paddy procurement policy for the marketing year 2016-17 and set a target of purchasing 50 lakh metric tonne of paddy from farmers this year.
Under the paddy procurement policy, paddy would be procured through state government and central agencies from October 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017. The support price for common variety of paddy would be R1,470 per quintal while for ‘Grade A’ paddy support price would be R1,510 per quintal.
According to sources in the agri department, the early announcement is to ensure that more paddy is purchased this year as opposed to last year, and also to keep paddy growers in good humour as this happens to be an election year. It may be mentioned that Uttar Pradesh had not been able to meet its purchase targets for paddy last year, leading to considerable dissatisfaction among farmers.
In the current marketing season, the cabinet has approved the opening of 2,600 purchase centres run by 10 agencies, out of which 550 centres will be run by UP’s Food Department and have a target of purchasing 12 lakh metric tonne. The UP Food and Essential Services Corporation will also purchase 3 lakh metric tonne of paddy from 100 centres, while the UP Employees Corporation will set up 150 purchase centres from which it is mandated to buy 4 lakh metric tonne of paddy from farmers.
All procurement agencies have been asked to make payment to farmers through RTGS or through account payee cheques in areas where RTGS facility is not available.