India has procured over 10 mn tonnes of paddy so far

October 31st, 2008 - 9:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) The government Friday said it had procured over 10 million tonnes of paddy during the current kharif marketing season (KMS), starting Oct 1 this year.The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said a total of 10,673,000 tonnes (10.6 million tonnes) of paddy has been procured till Oct 27 as against 9,893,000 tonnes (9.8 million tonnes) procured in the corresponding period last season.

In a statement here, the ministry said the rice procurement during KMS 2007-08 as on Sept 30, 2008 was 28,429,000 tonnes (over 28.4 million tonnes) as against the overall procurement of 25,107,000 tonnes (25.1 million tonnes) in KMS 2006-2007, an increase of 13.28 percent over the previous year.

Claiming that the country had a comfortable stock of food grains, the ministry said there would be an estimated wheat stock of over 8.1 million tonnes as on April 2009 as compared to the buffer norms of 4 million tonnes.

“It is estimated that the rice stock will be 6,413,000 tonnes (6.4 million tonnes) as on Oct 1, 2008 against the buffer norm of 5,200,000 (5.2 million tonnes),” said the ministry.

To contain the rise in price of rice in the domestic market, the export of non-basmati rice has been banned from April this year, and a minimum export price of $1,200 or Rs.48,000 per tonne has been fixed for the export of basmati rice.

The government Oct 17 decided to give farmers Rs.50 as incentive in addition to the minimum support price for every quintal or 100-kg of paddy during the kharif (autumn harvest) marketing season (KMS) of 2008-09.

The decision was taken at a meeting Thursday of the union cabinet, the Indian federal government’s highest decision-making body comprising senior union ministers, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

At present, a farmer gets Rs.850 per quintal of paddy as MSP for the common variety of the crop, and Rs.880 for the better variety, officially called Grade ‘A’ quality of paddy.

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