Govt’s rice procurement reaches 55.8 million tonnes and wheat 26.2 million tonnes so far

New Delhi: The government’s rice procurement has reached 55.8 million tonnes so far in the ongoing 2022-23 marketing season, benefitting 1.22 crore farmers with MSP of Rs 1.7 lakh crore, the food ministry said on Tuesday.

Wheat procurement has reached 26.2 million tonnes so far in the 2023-24 rabi marketing year (April-March), more than the last year’s total procurement of 18.8 million tonnes.

“With the current procurement of wheat and rice, adequate food grains stock in government granaries is maintained,” the ministry said in a statement.

The combined stock position of wheat and rice has reached 57 million tonnes, which puts the country in a comfortable position to meet its requirements of food grains, it noted.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) along with state agencies undertakes procurement of paddy and wheat under price support scheme. Paddy is procured and converted into rice through milling.

According to the ministry, a total of 83 million tonnes of paddy (55.8 million tonnes in terms of rice) was procured up to June 19 of the current kharif marketing season (October-September).

After the milling, around 40.1 million tonnes of rice has been received in the central pool so far, another 15 million tonnes of rice is yet to be received, it said.

“Rice delivery against the procured paddy is also in progress,” it added.

As many as 1.22 crore farmers have benefited from the procurement operation. About Rs 1,71,000 crore has been paid as minimum support price (MSP) to them.

The Centre has set a target to buy 62.60 million tonnes of rice in the 2022-23 marketing season. The FCI had procured 57.58 million tonnes of rice during the 2021-22 marketing season.

According to the third estimate of the agriculture ministry, rice output is pegged at a record 135.54 million tonnes for 2022-23 crop year, as against 129.47 million tonnes in the previous year.

In case of wheat, about 21.29 lakh farmers have already benefited from the ongoing wheat procurement operations with MSP outflow of about Rs 55,680 crore, it said.

Major contribution in the procurement has come from Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana with procurement of 12.12 million tonnes, 7.09 million tonnes and 6.31 million tonnes, respectively.

The ministry said the government has ensured that all arrangements are in place for hassle-free procurement operations.