In October, India’s rice procurement by FCI saw a significant 9% drop, aligning with reduced production estimates for the 2023–24 season. While Punjab and Haryana faced mixed outcomes, with Punjab experiencing a 13% decline and Haryana a 2% increase, Uttar Pradesh doubled its procurement. This decline was influenced by factors like a rice millers’ strike in Punjab and variable crop yields in different pockets. Despite these challenges, the government maintains its target to procure 521.27 lt of rice for the season.
Overall Procurement Decline: Rice procurement by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in the first month of the 2023–24 marketing season (October–September) decreased by 9.3%. This decline is attributed to aligning with the Ministry of Agriculture’s released production estimates, showing a 3.8% drop in rice production from the previous year.
Current Procurement Statistics: As of October 31, FCI procured 103.53-lakh tonnes (lt) of rice, down from 114.13 lt during the same period last year.
Production Estimates: The Ministry of Agriculture estimates a lower rice production of 1,063.1 lt for the current season compared to 1,105.1 lt in the previous year.
Regional Variances: Punjab and Haryana had a mixed performance. While Punjab’s procurement decreased by 13% to 62.48 lt, Haryana’s procurement increased by 2% to 35.79 lt. This is attributed to various factors like potential lower production in these regions, despite some pockets in Punjab showing higher yields. Uttar Pradesh, the largest producer, saw an increase in procurement, more than doubling from 22,558 tonnes to 48,345 tonnes. Tamil Nadu (NS:TNNP) and Uttarakhand experienced decreased procurement by 41% and 13%, respectively.
Factors Affecting Procurement: Rice millers’ strike in Punjab affected procurement due to issues related to fortification and processing. Higher yield reported in specific areas like Ludhiana and Sangrur in Punjab, with initial crop cutting experiments indicating increased yield per hectare.
Procurement Timelines: Procurement in Haryana is scheduled from September 25 to November 15, and in Punjab, it started on October 1 and is set to continue until the end of the month.
Targets: The government aims to procure 521.27 lt of rice in the current marketing season. Last year, Punjab and Haryana collectively contributed 28% of all India’s rice procurement, amounting to 569.42 lt.
In conclusion, India’s rice procurement in October reflects a dynamic agricultural landscape marked by both challenges and opportunities. The 9% decline in procurement harmonizes with the Ministry of Agriculture’s lower production estimates, highlighting the importance of aligning government targets with the ground reality. Regional variations, such as the mixed performance in Punjab and Haryana and Uttar Pradesh’s remarkable increase in procurement, emphasize the need for localized strategies in the agricultural sector. While issues like the rice millers’ strike in Punjab and fluctuations in crop yields create hurdles, pockets of high yield in certain areas offer hope for the season ahead. The government’s commitment to its procurement target underlines the resilience of India’s agriculture sector and its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. As the procurement season continues, stakeholders will closely monitor these developments and work to ensure food security and economic stability in the country.
This article has been republished from Investing.com