Rice procurement target fixed higher at 37.5 MT for 2017-18

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The Centre today fixed higher rice procurement target at 37.5 million tonnes for the 2017-18 marketing season beginning October on hopes of good production.

The government’s rice procurement has touched 34.35 million tonnes (MT) in the ongoing 2016-17 marketing season (October-September). The procurement has already crossed the target of 33 million tonnes set for this year.

Higher target for the 2017-18 was fixed after discussing with state food secretaries in a meeting chaired by Union Food Secretary Preeti Sudan here today.

The target for each rice producing states was also fixed in the meeting: Punjab to procure 115 lakh tonnes, Chattisgarh (48 lakh tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (37 lakh tonnes), Haryana and Odisha (30 lakh tonnes each), Andhra Pradesh is 25 lakh tonnes and West Bengal (23 lakh tonnes), an official statement said.

The Centre reviewed with states the kind of arrangements been put in place for procurement of paddy in producing states, particularly in decentralised procurement states and other non-traditional states.

State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies undertake procurement operation. The paddy is procured at the minimum support price (MSP).

For the 2017-18 season, the government has fixed paddy MSP of ‘common’ grade variety at Rs 1,550 per quintal, while that of ‘A’ grade variety at Rs 1,590 per quintal.

As per the Agriculture Ministry‘s data, farmers have sown paddy in 177.04 lakh hectare till last week of the kharif season of this year, which is higher than 169.23 lakh hectares in the same period last year.

source: The Times of India

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