The government on Monday said the foodgrain storage problem had arisen because the procurement had exceeded targets and due to record production. The Centre has also assured states all help in getting jute bags to overcome this problem of plenty.
The trouble of foodgrain storage has occurred due to problem of plenty arising out of record production of foodgrain in 2011- 12, food minister KV Thomas told Rajya Sabha, while replying to a discussion on foodgrain management.
While the country produced 160.89 million tonne of foodgrain in 2010-11, this has jumped to 193.64 million tonne in 2011- 12, the minister pointed out. Thomas maintained that encouraged by record foodgrain output, the procurement of rice and wheat has gone up.
The rise in procurement has also occurred due to higher minimum support price (MSP) and bonus offered by some states on purchase of foodgrain, the minister said. "For the purpose of PDS we need to procure 55 million tonne of foodgrain but the purchase has exceeded to 75 million tonne this year...this has triggered problem of storage and also shortage of jute bags," he said.
The minister also attributed the problem on shortage of jute bags and storage of foodgrain in Madhya Pradesh and some other states to wrong estimates made by officials about the level of procurement in November 2011, which has exceeded the target substantially now.