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Rice procurement dips 7%, Centre extends purchase in Punjab by a week

Targets to buy 521.27 lt of rice from 2023-24 season

As rice procurement in most of the States declined in first two months, except some minor contributors to Central Pool like West Bengal and Kerala, the Centre has extended the purchase period in Punjab, which has emerged as the only bright spot this season, by a week until December 7. Total procurement of rice has declined 7 per cent to 202.28 lakh tonnes (lt) worth ₹66,492 crore during October-November since the marketing season began from October 1, benefitting nearly 21 lakh farmers.

The government has set a target to purchase 521.27 lt of rice from kharif grown crop in 2023-24 season (October-September). The agriculture ministry has estimated the kharif rice production to fall by 4 per cent to 106.31 million tonnes (mt) in current kharif season from 110.51 mt year-ago.

“Despite the controversy in Punjab over higher arrival of paddy, the Centre has extended the procurement by a week as it may help the government since there may be very lower purchases in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh due to a possible drop in production,” said an official source. Among all major procurement States, Punjab is the only one where purchase is higher from last year, the official added.

Though Punjab’s contribution to the Central Pool was down by 4.4 per cent until November 15, the procurement has exceeded the target of 122 lt and reached 123.76 lt as on November 30 as against 122 lt year-ago. Last month, the state government had reopened nearly 300 purchase centres amid protest by farmers after the issue was criticised by the Opposition.

While there is allegation of recycling rice in Punjab, the State government has been saying that there is higher productivity, in fact record yield in some districts this year due to very favourable weather and no pest or diseases reported.

In Haryana, the rice procurement got completed on November 25 after it was extended for 10 days. The Centre has bought 39.38 lt of the cereal which is a tad lower from 39.5 lt year-ago. The State had set a target to buy 40 lt this year for the Central Pool.

The official purchase in Uttar Pradesh has been recorded at 5.77 lt, down by 26.6 per cent from 7.86 lt year-ago. So far, the procurement is on expected line as the production in the State is also estimated to drop from normal level in 2023-24 kharif season.

Rice procurement in Tamil Nadu has reached 3.7 lt, which is 36 per cent lower from 5.8 lt in the year-ago period. Procurement in Telangana has also started and it showed 13.26 lt of rice has been purchased by the government, down from 16.15 lt year-ago.

In the first month since procurement began from November 1, Chhattisgarh has purchased 9.55 lt of rice against 15.91 lt year-ago, down by 40 per cent. There may be some slowdown in procurement until the formation of next government in the State since both Congress and BJP have promised to raise minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to ₹3,100-3,200/quintal.

In June, the Centre announced 7 per cent hike in MSP of paddy to ₹2,183 per quintal (common variety) and ₹2,203 per quintal ‘A’ grade.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-procurement-dips-7-centre-extends-purchase-in-punjab-by-a-week/article67594801.ece QR Code

Published Date: December 2, 2023

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