Higher rice procurement expected in kharif season: Government

THE CENTRE expects the kharif crop rice procurement figure to reach at 518 lakh metric tonnes during the upcoming kharif marketing season (KMS) 2022-23, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said on Tuesday.

The estimated quantity of rice procurement will be marginally higher than the actual procurement of 509.82 LMT during last KMS 2021-22 (Kharif crop).

The ministry announced the estimated procurement figure after a meeting of state Food Secretaries on Tuesday, which was chaired by the Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey. The meeting was also attended by officials of Food Corporation of India (FCI). The meeting was called to discuss the procurement arrangements for Kharif crop ensuing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2022-23.

In a statement, the Food Ministry said, “The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary/Secretary (Food) or Representatives of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. The meeting was also attended by Chairman & Managing Director, FCI and other officers of FCI, Department of Food & Public Distribution, Indian Meteorological Department and Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.”

“A quantity of 518 LMT rice has been estimated for procurement during the forthcoming KMS 2022-23 (Kharif crop) as against 509.82 LMT actually procured during last KMS 2021-22 (Kharif crop).”

“During the meeting, issues relating to adoption of mechanized procurement operations, borrowing at lower interest rate, reduction in cost of procurement operations, adoption of innovative techniques and quality control mechanism, promotion of millets, gunny bags requirements, online settlement of food subsidy claims etc. were discussed and it was suggested that such innovations should be incentivized,” the statement said.

As per the statement, Pandey told the meeting that focus should be on procurement of millets, not only on account of International Year of Millet-2023 but also because of climate changes.

“Climate changes have been adversely affecting wheat and rice and resulting in reduction in their production. A quantity of 13.70 LMT coarse grains ‘super food’ has been proposed for procurement by the states during the forthcoming KMS 2022-23 as against actual procurement of 6.30 LMT as on date,” the statement said.

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