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May 2024

With 534 lakh tonnes, FCI rice stocks now at 4 times buffer requirement

FCI struggles with surplus rice stock of 534 lakh tonnes, affecting procurement decisions. Govt must address surplus liquidation and distribution challenges to meet annual rice requirements for PMGKAY beneficiaries.

NEW DELHI: The FCI is sitting on a stockpile of around 534 lakh tonnes of rice, which is four times the required buffer for July 1 and enough to meet requirements for one year even if there is no fresh procurement.

As per the Food Corporation of India (FCI) data, as on May 1, it had 317 lakh tonnes of rice and another 217 lakh tonnes of grain receivable from millers. The millers get paddy procured by FCI for rice conversion. The FCI needs to maintain a stock of 135 lakh tonnes as of July 1.

“The new govt will have to take a call on how to liquidate surplus rice stock,” a source said. Officials admitted that the growing stock is a matter of concern.

The paddy procurement by govt agencies has crossed 686 lakh tonne, which translates to 459 lakh tonne in terms of rice, in the current season. This is around 7% lower than the same period in the last financial year. Moreover, agencies are targeting to purchase around 100 lakh tonnes of rice in the ongong rabi marketing season in Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The FCI requires around 400 lakh tonnes of rice annually to distribute to 80 crore beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyana Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), which entitles them to free 5 kg foodgrain each.

In Feb, govt had launched sale of Bharat brand rice in 10 kg bags at Rs 29 per kg across the country to boost availability and to check any price rise. Officials said FCI so far has received purchase indent for 15 lakh tonne of rice from the agencies such as Nafed, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar for selling “Bharat” rice and these agencies have so far lifted around 7 lakh tonne. QR Code

Published Date: May 4, 2024

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