Paddy procurement by Indian government agencies have reached just over 208 lakh tonnes in the current marketing season that began in October, a government statement said.
It said the amount of rice procured in the current season was substantially higher from the 157.4 lakh tonnes bought from farmers in the same period in the previous kharif marketing season.
“The major increase in procurement of paddy has taken place in Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh,” the statement said, adding that the government had provided an additional funding of Rs 10,000 crore to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in January.
The FCI now has sufficient funds to meet its requirements towards expenditure including cost of procurement operations for the peak period of paddy buying in January and February, the statement said.
It also said the government had more than adequate foodgrain stocks available despite two straight monsoon deficient years.
As on January 1, 2016, there is 237.88 lakh tonnes of issuable wheat stock under the central pool, the statement said, adding that the FCI is also stepping up open market sale of wheat at reasonable rates to check inflation and to also provide supplies to the private flour mills and trade.
“Similarly, on 1st January, 2016 there is a stock of 126.89 lakh MT of rice under Central Pool, which is 50.79 lakh MT more than stocking norms. This excess quantity of rice will help in meeting any contingencies arising due to monsoon deficit or natural calamities in near future.,” the statement added.