Paddy procurement crosses 73 MT, boosts FCI rice stock – The Financial Express

The Financial Express
Six months since the commencement of paddy procurement by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government agencies for the 2022-23 season (October-September), the total purchase till Sunday crossed 73 million tonne (MT) which is equivalent to 49 MT of rice.
Though the total paddy purchase so far is marginally lower than the purchases a year ago, it has given a boost to FCI’s rice stocks which are currently at a comfortable stage.
The FCI has 25.18 MT of rice along with 19 MT to be received from millers which is far more than the buffer requirement of 13.58 MT for April 1.
Also read: Unseasonal rains hit MSP wheat procurement
While kharif procurement has concluded in most of the states, it will continue till the end of May in West Bengal and till June-end in Assam.
Official estimates indicate that around 8 MT of rabi rice is expected to be procured in the next couple of months which is expected to boost rice procurement this season to around 58 MT.
In the 2020-21 season, rice procurement was at a record 60.2 MT while in the previous year, the grain procurement was marginally lower at 59.2 MT.
The government had earlier increased the minimum support price (MSP) of the common variety of paddy by more than 5% to `2,040/quintal for the 2022-23 season, from Rs 1,940/quintal a year ago.
The corporation needs 40 MT of rice annually for distribution to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
Paddy-to-rice conversion ratio is 67%. After paddy is procured from the farmers by the FCI and state agencies, it is handed over to millers for conversion into rice.
Also read: Govt procurement via GeM crosses Rs 2 trillion in FY23: Piyush Goyal
FCI supplied rice for distribution to more than 800 million beneficiaries under the NFSA and other welfare schemes. The rice procured from grain-surplus states is also used for keeping a buffer stock with the FCI.
According to an agriculture ministry’s second advance estimate, rice production is expected to rise marginally to a record 130.83 MT in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) from 129.47 MT in the 2021-22 crop year.
Meanwhile, FCI’s wheat stock has depleted to 8.5 MT on April 1 against a buffer norm of 7.4MT. This wheat stock is lowest since 2016.
The government is aiming to purchase 34.15 MT of wheat in the April-June marketing season, 2023 while procurement has been delayed by two weeks because of unseasonal rains in the last few weeks in key growing states.
A senior agriculture ministry official on Monday said that about 10% of wheat crops is estimated to have been damaged in the areas that were impacted by recent rains and hailstorms in key producing states. The official said that the extent of damage is insignificant compared to wheat sown areas of 34 million hectare this year.
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