rice procurement may exceed 32 mn tonsAs per sources it has been reported that Government’s rice procurement in India may surpass last year’s level of 32 million tonnes in the 2015-16 marketing year despite prospect of lower production due to deficient monsoon. According to the latest data, rice procurement has risen by 31% to 20 MT so far in the 2015-16 marketing year that started from October, from 15.29 MT in the year-ago period. Further, the Centre’s nodal procurement agency Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government-owned agencies undertake procurement operations. However, the Centre has kept a rice procurement target of 30 MT for this year.

Further, it has also been revealed that despite the Agriculture Ministry’s first estimate of lower production was observed, however, rice procurement has been higher so far in most states. If the current trend continues, the overall rice procurement in 2015-16 would surpass last year’s level, as stated by a senior Food Ministry official of PTI. It has also been narrated that higher rice procurement was mainly due to fall in prices of common variety in most mandis after basmati rice rates declined sharply. At present, procurement has been completed in Punjab and Haryana, while the operations are in full swing in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Further more, in this regard it has been reported that winter rice will be procured from Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana and Odisha. As per the latest data, rice procurement in Punjab rose to 9.34 MT in 2015-16 from 7.78 MT in the last year. Similarly, rice procurement in Haryana increased to 2.85 MT from 2.01 MT in the review period. It is interesting to note that the rice procurement in Andhra Pradesh is more double to 1.2 MT so far this year as against 5,58,573 tonnes in the year-ago period, while neighboring Telangana state procured only 9,07,180 tonnes as against 1.28 MT in the said period. In addition, in Chhattisgarh, the procurement was up at 2.53 MT from 1.56 MT, while in Uttar Pradesh the purchases rose to 1 MT from 6,05,000 tonnes in the said period.

As for as rice procurement in Odisha is concerned it showed an increase quantity to 7,36,945 tonnes so far this year as compared to 1,59,793 tonnes in the year-ago period. In its first estimate, the Agriculture Ministry has projected a fall in kharif rice production to 90.61 MT in the 2015-16 crop year (July-June) from 90.86 MT in the year-ago period due to 14% fall in monsoon rains. The agencies buy paddy from the farmers andShanti Agro Industries Pvt. Ltd. give to millers for conversion into rice. The government has fixed the minimum support price of common variety of paddy at Rs 1,410 per quintal for 2015-16 kharif seasons.