FCI purchases 70 MT of paddy this season so far

By Sandip Das

Close to five months since the commencement of paddy procurement by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government agencies for the 2022-23 season (October-September), the total purchase of paddy till Monday crossed 70 million tonne (MT) which is equivalent to 47 MT of rice.

Total paddy purchase so far is marginally higher than 68.29 MT of paddy purchased a year ago. Higher grain procurement has given a boost to FCI’s rice stocks which had depleted by implementation of the free ration scheme.

According to the food ministry, over 9.6 million farmers have benefited from the ongoing paddy procurement operations while Rs 1.45 trillion has been transferred into their bank accounts as minimum support price (MSP).

The government had earlier increased the MSP of the common variety of paddy by more than 5% to `2,040/quintal for the 2022-23 season, from Rs 1,940/quintal a year ago.

At present, FCI had 20 MT of rice along with 27.66 MT to be received from millers which is far more than the buffer requirement of 13.58 MT for April 1.

The corporation needs 40 MT of rice annually for distribution to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
Officials said that surplus rains last year, by the end of September and the first week of October, prior to paddy harvesting, have not impacted mandi arrivals as earlier feared. Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Odisha have contributed the most to the procurement drive.

The government is aiming to procure 90 MT of paddy in the entire marketing season (2022-23). Paddy procurement is continuing in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Karnataka. The rabi paddy procurement will commence in May.

Paddy-to-rice conversion ratio is 67%. After paddy is procured from the farmers by the FCI and state agencies, it is handed over to millers for conversion into rice.

FCI supplied rice for distribution to more than 800 million beneficiaries under the NFSA and other welfare schemes. The rice procured from grain-surplus states is also used for keeping a buffer stock with the FCI.

According to an agriculture ministry’s second advance estimate, rice production is expected to rise marginally to a record 130.83 MT in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) from 129.47 MT in the 2021-22 crop year.

In the 2020-21 season, rice procurement was at a record 60.2 MT while in the previous year, the grain procurement was marginally lower at 59.2 MT.

This article has been republished from The Financial Express.