The Centre on Sunday said about 55.61 lakh tonnes of kharif paddy worth Rs 10,500 crore has been purchased at minimum support price (MSP) from 4.80 lakh farmers in the last 18 days.
Paddy procurement commenced in Punjab and Haryana from September 26 due to early arrival of the crop, while in other states it began on October 1. More than 80 percent of the country's paddy crop is grown in the kharif season. The government through Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies undertakes procurement of paddy at MSP.
"Paddy procurement through FCI and other government agencies for the 2020-21 kharif marketing season has picked up fast in some of the procuring regions like Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and J&K," the Food Ministry said in a statement. Till October 13, about 55.61 lakh tonnes of paddy was procured at MSP value of Rs 10,500.72 crore, it said.
For the current year, the centre has fixed the 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-run Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has procured 63,262 bales at MSP value of Rs 178.60 crore from 13,077 farmers till October 13.
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 10, about 669.74 tonnes of moong and urad at MSP value of Rs 4.82 crore has been procured from 611 farmers in Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Similarly, 5,089 tonnes of copra at MSP value of Rs 52.40 crore has been 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. For copra and urad, rates are ruling at or above MSP.
The Centre has given nod for procurement of 41.67 lakh tonnes of kharif pulses and oilseeds this year under the PSS to 10 states as well as 1.23 tonnes 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 earlier, the government is releasing daily procurement data to send a message to farmers protesting against new farm laws that it has no intention of scrapping procurement at MSP.