Procurement of Kharif paddy has increased nearly 15 per cent to 669.59 lakh tonnes at MSP so far in the current Kharif marketing season, costing over Rs 1.26 lakh crore, amid ongoing farmers protest against three new farm laws. Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) starts in October. Paddy is a major Kharif (summer-sown) crop but it is also grown in rabi (winter-sown) season.
"In the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21, the government continues to procure Kharif 2020-21 crops at MSP (Minimum Support Price) from farmers as per existing MSP schemes, as was done in previous seasons," an official statement said. The government has 669.59 lakh tonnes of paddy till March 3, up 14.78 per cent from 583.34 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.
"About 97.70 lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing KMS procurement operations with MSP value of Rs 1,26,418.70 crore," the statement said. Out of the total purchase of 669.59 lakh tonnes, Punjab has contributed 202.82 lakh tonnes.
Till March 3rd, the food ministry said that 91,80,412 cotton bales, valuing Rs 26,716.31 crore has been procured benefitting 18,97,002 farmers. Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at Delhi borders for over three months, seeking repeal of three farm laws, which were passed by Parliament in September last year. Farmer Unions are also demanding a legal guarantee of the MSP.