A month into the paddy procurement by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies for the kharif season – 2023-24 (October-September), the purchase under the minimum support price (MSP) operations from farmers has crossed 15.4 million tonne (MT), a decline of 9.28% on year.
Food ministry officials have attributed decline in paddy procurement in the first month of 2023-24 season (October-November) to fall of 13% in paddy purchase in Punjab to 9.34 MT till Tuesday due to to higher moisture content in grain because of rains in parts of the state and strike by rice millers against the some rejection of iron fortified rice supplied to the FCI.
“We will achieve a kharif paddy purchase target of 77.4 MT this season,” a food ministry official told FE. He said that the FCI has surplus grain stocks which are more than three times the buffer requirement.
As on Wednesday, FCI has 20.09 MT of rice stocks which excludes 17 MT of grain receivable from the millers. The rice stock is against the buffer of 7.61 MT for January 1.
According to the food ministry, 17.27 MT of paddy has arrived in the mandis mostly in Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand so far.
So far, other major contributors to paddy procurement include Haryana (5.3 MT), Tamil Nadu (0.45 MT), Uttarakhand (0.21 MT) and Uttar Pradesh (72,156 tonn). The MSP purchase from the farmers is expected to peak next month as purchase commences in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.