Amid signs of deficient monsoon, the Centre has set the country’s rice procurement target at 521 lakh tonnes for next season beginning October 1, marginally higher than last year’s target of 516 lakh tonnes.
This signals the confidence of the government as far as paddy production is concerned, though the first estimate of harvest would be out in the third week of September.
Union food secretary Sanjeev Chopra told reporters on Wednesday that the target for procurement of rice was set after holding a meeting with food secretaries of all states. During the current kharif marketing season, which ends on September 30, the government agencies have procured 495 lakh tonnes of rice.
“We are confident of procuring the targeted rice to meet our requirements and for market intervention as well,” said an official. Kharif procurement contributes around 86% of the total rice purchased by Food Corporation of India and state agencies at Minimum Support Price(MSP).
Meanwhile, responding to questions Chopra told repoters that there is no proposal, as of now, to restrict exports of parboiled non-basmati rice.
This article has been republished from The Times of India