Paddy procurement has increased by 25 per cent in this kharif marketing season so far to 449.83 lakh tonnes at the minimum support price (MSP), valued at Rs 84,928.10 crore.
“In the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21, Government continues to procure Kharif 2020-21 crops at its MSP from farmers as per its existing MSP Schemes,” an official statement said.
Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other state agencies have procured 449.83 lakh tonnes of paddy till December 25 as against 360.09 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.
“About 55.49 lakh farmers have already been benefited from the ongoing KMS procurement Operations with MSP value of Rs 84,928.10 crore,” the statement said. Of the total purchase of 449.83 lakh tonnes, Punjab has contributed 202.77 lakh tonnes.
Paddy procurement for Kharif 2020-21 is continuing smoothly in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pardesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Meanwhile fearing another lockdown, cotton farmers have been rushing to the market with their arrivals. The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has procured some 67 lakh bales (each bale weighing 170 kg) till date in the ongoing season at a cost of Rs 19,048.87 crore. This is almost double the amount of cotton it procured in the year-ago period.
The pace of arrivals is very fast on account of Covid fears as Europe and the UK are getting into another lockdown. Farmers fear that prices may not rise further. Prices are currently ruling at Rs 6,000 per quintal while the MSP is at Rs 5,825, and farmers feel this is a fair price.
Moreover, there have been quality issues this season, especially with the long staple cotton of 30 mm because of which growers are in a hurry to sell their crop. The delay in rains as well as excessive rains have caused problems in the crop in Telangana, Maharashtra and Saurashtra. In Maharashtra, the crop has been hit by pink bollworm, while heavy unseasonal rains affected the crop in Saurashtra as well as Telangana.