Govt buys 32.12 lakh tonne kharif paddy at MSP in last 14 days

New Delhi, Oct 10 (PTI): About 32.12 lakh tonne of kharif paddy worth Rs 6,065.09 crore has been purchased at the minimum support price (MSP) from 2.83 lakh farmers in the last 14 days, the food ministry said on Saturday. Paddy procurement in Punjab and Haryana began from September 26 due to early arrival of the crop, while in other states it commenced from October 1. More than 80 per cent of the country’s paddy crop is grown in the kharif season. The government through the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies undertakes procurement of paddy at MSP.

“Paddy procurement in the 2020-21 kharif marketing season is going on smoothly in the procuring states with purchase of 32,12,439 tonne of paddy up to October 9,” the food ministry said in a statement. For the current year, the Centre has fixed MSP of paddy (common grade) at Rs 1,868 per quintal, while that of A grade variety has been fixed at Rs 1,888 per quintal. Besides, the government through nodal agencies is buying pulses and oilseeds at MSP under the Price Support Scheme (PSS), which gets operationalised when market rates fall below the support price.

Till October 9, about 459.60 tonne of moong at MSP value of Rs 3.33 crore was procured from 326 farmers in Haryana and Tamil Nadu. Similarly, 5,089 tonne of copra at MSP value of Rs 52.40 crore procured from 3,961 farmers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the said period. In respect of copra and urad, rates are ruling at or above MSP. Respective state governments are making arrangements for commencement of procurement in respect of moong. The Centre has given nod for procurement of 30.70 lakh tonne of kharif pulses and oilseeds this year under PSS in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh as well as 1.23 tonne of copra in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Approval for other states will be given on receipt of proposals for procurement as per PSS norms, the ministry added. In case of cotton, state-owned Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) procured 22,339 bales at MSP value of Rs 6,451.73 lakh from 4,286 farmers till October 9. Unlike before, the government is releasing the daily procurement data to send a message to farmers protesting against new farm laws that it has no intention of scrapping procurement at MSP.