Paddy procurement has increased 16 per cent so far this kharif marketing season at 638.57 lakh tonne, valued at Rs 1,20,562 crore, amid ongoing farmers' protest at borders of the national capital. Kharif marketing year starts from October. "In the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21, Government continues to procure Kharif 2020-21 crops at MSP from farmers as per existing MSP schemes, as was done in previous seasons," an official statement said.
The government has purchased 638.57 lakh tonne till February 12, up 16.25 per cent from 549.30 lakh tonne in the corresponding period of the previous marketing year. "About 91.69 lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing KMS procurement Operations with MSP value of Rs 1,20,562.19 crore," the statement said.
Out of the total purchase of 638.57 lakh tonne, Punjab has contributed 202.82 lakh tonne. Procurement operations of seed cotton (Kapas) under MSP are going on smoothly across many states. "Till February 12, a quantity of 91,35,211 cotton bales valuing Rs 26,643.55 crore has been procured benefitting 18,90,736 farmers," it said. Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at Delhi's borders for over two months seeking repeal of the three new farm legislations, introduced by the Centre last year, saying those are pro-corporate and can weaken the mandi system.
Till now, 11 rounds of talks between the Centre and 41 protesting farmer unions have been held to end the stalemate. The Centre has offered suspension of the legislations for 1-1.5 years but the unions have rejected.