The Centre on Sunday said about 37.92 lakh tonne of kharif paddy worth Rs 7,159.39 crore has been purchased at the minimum support price (MSP) from 3.22 lakh farmers in the last 15 days. Paddy procurement commenced in Punjab and Haryana from September 26 due to early arrival of the crop, while in other states from October 1.
More than 80 per cent 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. "FCI along with other government agencies has, up to October 10, procured over 37.92 lakh tonnes of paddy with a total MSP outflow of Rs 7,159.39 crores to more than 3.22 lakh farmers," Union Food Ministry said in a statement.
Paddy buying in the ongoing 2020-21 kharif marketing season has "gained momentum" with increase in the quantum of procurement in procuring states and start of purchase in some new states, 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 24,863 bales at MSP value of Rs 7,545 lakh from 5,252 farmers till October 10. 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 459.60 tonne of moong at MSP value of Rs 3.33 crore has been procured from 326 farmers in Haryana and Tamil Nadu. 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.
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 tonnes of kharif pulses and oilseeds this year under the PSS in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh 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 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.