New Delhi, Feb 2: The rice procurement by Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government agencies for the current year has increased 14% so far this kharif season (2011-12) in comparison to the same period last year. This has been possible mainly because of bumper kharif rice production this season.
The latest FCI data indicate that the rice procurement during 2011-12 season is all set to reach 22 million tonne (mt) during next few days and almost the entire quantity has already been purchased. The government had lifted 19.088 mt of rice from farmers during the same period last year. The government is aiming at procuring a record 35 mt of rice during current year.
The increase in rice purchase from the farmers have been achieved notwithstanding decline in procurement in Punjab this year. FCI and state agencies have lifted 7.7 mt of rice in Punjab against 8.6 mt purchased during same period last year. The Punjabs food and civil supplies officials say that arrival of paddy in the mandis have stopped.
The decline in procurement in Punjab has been compensated from increase in rice lifting in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar.
Chhattisgarh has contributed 3.4 mt of rice to central pool which is higher than last year. Haryana till now has contributed close to 2 mt of rice against 1.6 mt reported during the same period last year.Other states such as Andhra Pradesh have contributed more than 3 mt of rice to central pool comparison to 2.2 mt achieved last year. Even Uttar Pradesh have contributed 2.1 mt of rice to the central pool till now against more than 1.4 mt reported during the same period last year. The contribution of Orissa, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh to the rice procurement drive have been more than last year.
We do not have any apprehension about the rice procurement this year and we will meet the target comfortably, food minister KV Thomas had told FE. The FCI has been procuring paddy (common) at R1,000 per quintal and paddy (Grade A) at R1,030 per quintal in the ongoing 2011-12 marketing year. FCI and state agencies buys rice at a minimum support price from farmers and distribute the grain under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). As on January 1, the total rice stocks at the central pool was more than 29 million tonne which was far above strategic reserve (2 mt) and buffer stocks norms (11.8 mt). The government needs around 1 mt of rice every month for TPDS.