The Centre on Tuesday said over 11 lakh tonnes of kharif paddy has been procured at minimum support price (MSP) from farmers for a total of Rs 2,103.46 crore in the last 10 days. Pulses and cotton are also being procured at MSP as per the existing schemes, it said.
Procurement of paddy, the main kharif crop, began from September 26 in Punjab and Haryana, while it started on September 28 in other states. "As on October 5, cumulative procurement of paddy in the 2020-21 kharif marketing season has already crossed 11.14 lakh tonnes," the Union Food Ministry said in a statement.
The paddy has been procured from 87,000 farmers at MSP value of Rs 2,103.46 crore, it added. Paddy procurement through the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government agencies has picked up fast in some states like Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, it added.
For the current year, the Centre has fixed a MSP of Rs 1,868 per quintal for paddy (common grade), while that for A grade variety has been fixed at Rs 1,888 per quintal. 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 5, about 140.30 tonnes of moong at MSP value of Rs 1.01 crore has been procured from 111 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.
For 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 ministry said. The Centre has given nod for procurement of 29.64 lakh tonnes of kharif pulses and oilseeds this year under 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. In case of cotton, the state-run Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has procured 627 bales at MSP value of Rs 1.73 crore from 137 farmers in Haryana and Punjab till October 5.
Unlike earlier, the government is releasing procurement data daily to send a message to farmers protesting against the new farm laws that it has no intention of scrapping procurement at MSP. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana and several other states are protesting against the new farm laws, which they feel will lead to procurement in the hands of corporates and the end of MSP regime.