India issues fresh quality specifications for rice, paddy procurement

The government has issued new quality specifications for rice and paddy procurement for the coming season, reports Financial Express. According to a statement, the government has established uniform criteria for fortified rice kernels (FRK) for grade A and common rice in case of purchase of fortified rice stocks, where 1% FRK shall be blended with regular rice.

These criteria have been given in respect of paddy, rice, and other coarse grains such as jowar, bajra, maize, and ragi, as is customary practice. These requirements include rice criteria for distribution under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and other welfare schemes, which are based on the unified rice specifications for Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21.

According to a ministry statement, the department of food and public distribution, which is part of the consumer affairs, food and public distribution ministry, has issued identical specifications for central pool procurement for the next kharif marketing season (KMS) 2020-21.

In the case of rice, the millers have been given stronger quality control methods, as the broken grain percentage has been lowered to 20% from 25% previously. Furthermore, the moisture content of rice that millers must tolerate has been decreased from 15% to 14%.

The amount of damaged grains has been reduced from 3% to 2%, while red grains, which previously had a 3% restriction, will no longer be accepted under the new guidelines.

The moisture content limit for paddy unloaded at grain markets has been cut from 17% to 16%, while the permitted limit of foreign matter (organic and inorganic) has been reduced from 2% to 1%. The discolored, sprouting, and damaged percentage has been lowered from 5% to 3%. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) and all states/union territories have been notified that procurement during KMS 2020-21 may be strictly in compliance with the standardized specifications, according to the announcement.

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