Rice production lags, but procurement nears 20 mt

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 30 2010, 06:01am hrs
Thanks to good price, rice procurement by the Centre is nearing 20 million tonne.

Though, the purchases for the central pool is still almost 5,40,000 tonne less than last year, mainly because of poor harvest in Andhra, Karnataka and TN, officials said it wont have much of an impact on the nations food security as stocks are abundant.

According to an official statement, procurement of rice for the central pool has been estimated at 193.43 lakh tonne till January 28, around 5,40,000 tonne less than last year.

Punjab has contributed 92.6 lakh tonne to the central pool till now, followed by Chhattisgarh 22.9 lakh tonne and Uttar Pradesh at 19.94 lakh tonne.

However, officials said adequate stocks in government warehouses would be more than enough to compensate for the low procurement. As on January 1, rice stocks in state-run warehouses were at 24.3 million tonne (mt), more than double the target of 11.8 mt.

Comfortable stocks would help the government release rice stocks to check prices, Reuters reported quoting Veeresh Hiremath, a senior analyst with commodity brokerage Karvy Comtrade.

Rice production in the kharif season is expected to fall by almost 13 mt to 71.65 mt as the worst monsoon in decades crimped harvest.