As paddy procurement is set to commence on Wednesday, Punjab and Haryana are eyeing to procure 175 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of crop for central pool for Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2014-15, up by about 10 per cent over last year's purchase.
During last season, both agrarian states bought 157 lakh MT of paddy for central pool. This season, Punjab has set a target to lift 140 lakh MT of paddy, though it may restrict to 115-120 lakh MT in view of high production of basmati varieties.
"We are ready with arrangements for procuring 140 lakh tonnes of paddy for the Kharif marketing season," an official of Food Corporation of India (Punjab) said here.
Punjab had seen procurement of 127 lakh MT last season, comprising 121.15 lakh MT for central pool, the official said.
"The paddy arrivals may restrict to 115-120 lakh MT as area under basmati in Punjab grew considerably this Kharif season and consequently, high basmati production will impact crop procurement for central pool," FCI official said.
Area under basmati crop this season has gone up by 55 per cent to 8.62 lakh hectares this year, with around 30 per cent of total paddy being under basmati. The output is expected to reach 34 lakh tonnes as against 22.65 lakh tonnes recorded last season.
The neighbouring Haryana is likely to buy 35.07 lakh MT of paddy during the Kharif marketing season of 2014-15 as against its purchase of 35.86 lakh MT.
However, FCI is also expecting lesser arrival than targeted in view of rise in acreage under aromatic varieties of crop.
"There may be 10-15 per cent lesser crop procurement than the target set because of rise in area under basmati paddy," an official of FCI (Haryana) said.
Area under paddy in Punjab and Haryana is pegged at 28.20 lakh hectares and 11.50 lakh hectares, respectively.
A target of 26.50 lakh hectares was set for paddy during the current season as the state government had proposed to bring down area by 2 lakh hectares under "water guzzling" crop as part of crop diversification programme.
In view of "deficient" rains this year, the input cost ofpaddy growers in Punjab and Haryana is estimated to jump by Rs 6,000-7,000 per acre.
With a total of 1,806 centres set up for paddy purchase in Punjab, the state authorities said all out efforts would be made to ensure smooth, hassle-free and quick procurement of paddy.
In Haryana, a total of 187 grain markets have been set up for crop purchase.
Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy -- Grade A and Common variety -- has been kept at Rs 1,400 per quintal and Rs 1,360 per quintal, respectively.