Rice procurement rises sharply across the country, up 66 percent in Punjab

NEW DELHI: Procurement of rice across India has risen 26% above this time last year while in Punjab, where some leaders allege that the government will stop buying grain from farmers, it is 66% higher, officials said.

Official agencies have increased purchases from farmers in various states including Haryana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu.

“So far government agencies have procured 10.07 million tonnes of paddy out of which 6.9 million tonnes have been procured from Punjab, where farmer groups are protesting against the recently enacted farm laws. In terms of rice, the procurement is around 6.7 million tonnes,” said a consumer affairs ministry official.

“The government has disbursed more than Rs 20,000 crore so far. We have set a target of procuring 49.5 million tonnes of rice for this kharif season.

The government has also started procurement of oilseeds and pulses for the central pool under Price Support Scheme (PSS). The centre has set a target of purchasing 4.24 million tonnes of pulses and oilseeds based on the proposals from states.

“So far, we have been able to procure 863 tonnes of moong and urad. The procurement will gain momentum as the produce starts hitting the markets,” said an agriculture ministry official.

The official said that the cotton procurement has also picked up in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

“So far 2.36 lakh cotton bales have been procured at MSP benefitting 46,706 farmers. Last year during this period, only 2,335 bales were procured. Cotton farmers in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra have suffered huge losses due to heavy rains and flood like situation in these states,” the official said.

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