The state governments have pegged the rice procurement target for the 2022 Kharif marketing season at around 506 lakh tonnes, the same as the last year’s level, notwithstanding the likely marginal drop in the output, according to sources.
However, the procurement estimates would be firmed up by the Union Food Ministry next week after deliberations with the state government officials, the sources added.
The government procures paddy and converts it into the rice at mills. The procurement of paddy grown in the Kharif season starts in October. The procurement is undertaken at MSP by the state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state organisations.
The government has fixed the minimum support price (MSP) of ‘common’ grade paddy at Rs 2,040 per quintal and ‘grade A’ at 2,060 per quintal for the 2022-23 marketing year.
According to sources, the state governments have made a preliminary assessment of the Kharif paddy crop and come out with their estimate of production and procurement.
As per the state governments’ estimate, the country’s total Kharif production is likely to decline due to sowing lag especially in Jharkhand, West Bengal,Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, but it may hardly impact the government’s procurement quantity, sources said.
The state governments have pegged total rice procurement at 506 lakh tonnes during the Kharif season. However, this estimate will be finalised by the central government next week after discussion with the state chief secretaries, the sources said.
The likely higher production in Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh is expected to compensate for the loss in other states, they added.
The sources also mentioned that the marginal fall in Kharif rice output could mostly be due to 2-3 per cent crop diversification and a fall in acreage.
According to the agriculture ministry’s data, the total area sown to paddy remained down by 5.99 per cent at 367.55 lakh hectares (ha) till the last week of the ongoing Kharif season due to poor rains in some states especially Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.
The data showed that paddy was sown in 390.99 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.
Paddy is the main Kharif crop, sowing of which begins with the onset of the southwest monsoon from June and harvesting from October onwards.