The government’s paddy procurement for the central pool rose 12 per cent to 170.53 lakh tonnes till October of the ongoing 2022-23 kharif marketing season, according to the food ministry data. Higher quantities of paddy were purchased from Punjab, Haryana, and Tamil Nadu.
Normally, paddy procurement begins immediately after the withdrawal of the Southwest monsoon from October onwards. However in southern states, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it begins from September.
The government aims to procure 771.25 lakh tonnes of paddy in the 2022-23 kharif marketing season (October-September). The actual procurement stood at record 759.32 lakh tonnes in the previous kharif marketing season.
According to the official data, the overall paddy buying has increased to 170.53 lakh tonnes till October 31 of the 2022-23 kharif marketing season from 152.57 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.
Out of the total, about 107.24 lakh tonnes of paddy has been purchased from Punjab till October-end compared to 99.12 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period. From Haryana, 52.26 lakh tonnes were bought as against 48.27 lakh tonnes in the same period a year ago.
However, in Uttar Pradesh, paddy procurement remained lower at 33,668 tonnes till October-end of this kharif marketing season as against 83,766 tonnes in the year-ago period, the data showed.
The procurement in Uttarakhand remained slightly higher at 2.46 lakh tonnes as against 2.35 lakh tonnes. In Jammu and Kashmir, the procurement was higher at 11,170 tonnes as against 6,756 tonnes in the same period a year ago.
In Himachal Pradesh, the paddy procurement, however, has been slightly lower at 6,111 tonnes till October of this season as against 7,374 tonnes in the year-ago period.
As per the data, in Tamil Nadu, about 7.90 lakh tonnes of paddy have been procured till October-end of this kharif marketing season as against 1.77 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.
In Kerala, 4,159 tonnes of paddy have been purchased till the end of October compared to 5,203 tonnes in the year-ago period.
The paddy procurement is undertaken by both state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) and private agencies. The paddy is procured at the minimum support price directly from the farmers and is utilised for meeting the demand under several welfare schemes.
Paddy is grown in both kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons. But 80 per cent of the country’s total paddy production comes from the kharif season.
According to the first estimate of the agriculture ministry, the country’s paddy production is estimated to decline 6 per cent to 104.99 million tonnes in the 2022-23 kharif season due to decrease in paddy acreage in the wake of poor rains in key producing states, especially in Jharkhand.