Govt’s 2019-20 rabi rice buys seen 7.5 mln tn vs 6.1 mln tn year ago

Thursday, Apr 16, 2020


By Sampad Nandy


NEW DELHI – The government's rabi rice procurement in 2019-20 (Oct-Sep) is estimated at 7.5 mln tn, sharply higher than the 6.1 mln tn bought last season, senior government officials said. 


Last year, the government had estimated its rabi rice procurement at 7.0 mln tn.    


The sharp jump in the procurement estimate this year is primarily due to a bigger harvest in the rabi season, an official said. For 2019-20 (Jul-Jun), the government has pegged India's rabi rice output at a 15.5 mln tn, up nearly 8% on year. 


"The procurement is likely to be higher this year because private buys may not be as usual due to the lockdown. There is a possibility that farmers may come to the government to sell their produce," an official said.   


Another reason for the likely higher procurement is due to the assurances given by state governments to farmers to procure maximum quantity of the crop to ensure better realisation of prices, another official said. 


Both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are wiling to procure most of the crop produced in the states. Both are key growers of paddy in the country. 


For 2019-20 (Jul-Jun), Telangana has pegged its paddy production at 9.8 mln tn, up 47.3% on year while Andhra Pradesh has pegged its paddy output at 13.1 mln tn, up 5.6% on year. 


For the kharif marketing season this year, the government had estimated its procurement at 41.6 mln tn, against 38.2 mln tn bought in 2018-19. It has so far procured 40.3 mln tn rice, up 3% on year. 


Usually, the government wraps up its kharif rice procurement programme by Mar 31 but this year, it has decided to extend it as the nationwide lockdown made it difficult for growers to bring their produce to the government. 


Prime Minister Narendra Modi had imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown from Mar 25 to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country. However, due to a spike in positive cases of coronavirus, the lockdown has been extended till May 3.  


For 2019-20 (Jul-Jun), the government has bought common-grade paddy at 1,815 rupees per 100 kg, and fine-grade paddy at 1,835 rupees. Last year, the minimum support price was 1,750 rupees per 100 kg for common-grade paddy and 1,770 rupees for the fine-grade variety.  End


Edited by Shirsha Thakur


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