About 43 lakh tonne of kharif paddy worth Rs 8,033 crore was purchased at the minimum support price (MSP) from 3.57 lakh farmers in the last 16 days, the food ministry said on October 12. Paddy procurement commenced in Punjab and Haryana from September 26 due to early arrival of the crop, while in other states it began 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 about 42.55 lakh tonne of paddy up to October 11 from over 3.57 lakh farmers with MSP value of Rs 8,032.62 crore," the 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. In case of cotton, state-owned Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) procured 24,863 bales at MSP value of Rs 7,545 lakh from 5,252 farmers till October 11.
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 11, about 606.56 tonne of moong at MSP value of Rs 4.36 crore was procured from 533 farmers in Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Maharasthra.
Similarly, 5,089 tonne of copra at MSP value of Rs 52.40 crore was procured from 3,961 farmers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the said period. For 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.
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.