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Government's rice purchases down 3 pc to 26.96 mt so far

Rice procurement by the government in the current marketing year ending September has dropped about three per cent to 26.96 million tonnes so far on account of lower production.

business Updated: May 04, 2010 16:57 IST

Rice procurement by the government in the current marketing year ending September has dropped about three per cent to 26.96 million tonnes so far on account of lower production.

Food Corporation of India, the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, and state agencies had procured 27.82 million tonnes of rice in the corresponding period of the previous marketing year, which runs from October to September.

The Centre had procured a record 33.68 million tonnes of rice in the entire 2008-09 marketing year.

For the 2009-10 marketing year, the government had kept the procurement target lower than the previous year, at 26
million tonnes, on account of the shortfall in Kharif production due to the drought in over 300 districts of the country.

With procurement surpassing the initial target of 26 million tonnes, FCI now expects rice procurement in 2009-10
marketing year to reach the 30-million tonnes mark.

Punjab has been the largest contributor to the central pool this year at 9.27 million tonnes compared to 8.48
million tonnes a year ago.

Rice procurement from Chhattisgarh also rose over 20 per cent to 3.07 million tonnes from 2.54 million tonnes in the
corresponding period of the previous year.

FCI has procured 27 per cent more rice from Haryana this marketing year, lifting 1.81 million tonnes against 1.42
million tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Rice procurement from Andhra Pradesh-- a major contributor -- has declined 18 per cent to 4.55 million tonnes
this marketing year from 5.57 million tonnes in the same period last year.

Similarly, the government's rice purchases from Uttar Pradesh was 2.38 million tonnes, down by 35 per cent from 3.66
million tonnes a year ago.

Rice procurement from Orissa so far this year has also decreased by three per cent to 1.94 million tonnes against
1.99 million tonnes in the same period last year.

The government procures foodgrains at a fixed minimum support price to protect farmers from market fluctuations. The
MSP for common grade of paddy has been decided at Rs 1,000 per quintal and at Rs 1,030 per quintal for grade A variety for the 2009-10 marketing year.

India's rice production is estimated to decline to 87.56 million tonnes in the 2009-10 marketing year from the record
level of 99.18 million tonnes in the previous year.