New Delhi [India], September 1 (ANI): Paddy procurement under the central pool has been progressing smoothly for the Kharif marketing season 2021-22 across various States and Union territories.
As of 30 August, a total of 881.30 lakh tonne of paddy, including 759.32 lakh tonne from Kharif and 121.98 lakh tonne from Rabi season, has been procured.
The procurement drive benefited about 130.65 lakh farmers with a Minimum Support Price value of Rs 172,734.69 crore.
Coming to wheat, a quantity of 187.92 lakh tonne has been procured during the Rabi marketing season 2022-23, benefiting about 17.83 lakh farmers with an MSP value of Rs 37,866.13 crore. The total procurement value of paddy and wheat is pegged at around Rs 2.1 trillion.
However, the overall procurement of wheat is much lower as compared to last year as the current wheat price in India is well above the Centre's assured Minimum Support Price of Rs 2,015 per 100 kg, which in itself is a rare phenomenon.
Currently, wheat is trading at around Rs 2,300-2,400 per 100 kg in key markets.
In reply to a question during the recent parliament session on whether it was true that wheat procurement from farmers had fallen since there was a rise in private procurement who bought wheat directly from farmers, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar agreed with it.
"The procurement of wheat has fallen due to higher purchase of wheat by traders as the market price of wheat had shot up due to prevailing international geopolitical situation," the Union minister said.
"Moreover, if the farmer gets better price in comparison to MSP, they are free to sell their produce in the open market."
Meanwhile, the production of total food grains in India during the 2021-22 season is estimated to be at record 315.72 million tonnes, a rise of 4.98 million tonnes than harvested during 2020-21, as per the fourth advance estimates of production of major agricultural crops released by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on August 17.
Among crops, record harvest is expected for rice, maize, gram, pulses, rapeseed and mustard, oilseeds and sugarcane.
Production of wheat during 2021-22 is estimated at 106.84 million tonnes. It is higher by 2.96 million tonnes than the last five years' average wheat production of 103.88 million tonnes.
This Kharif season, the area under paddy cultivation, a key Kharif crop, is though over 8 per cent lower than the previous season at 343.7 lakh hectares.
Farmers in India have sown less paddy this Kharif season. Kharif crops are mostly sown during monsoon -June and July, and the produce is harvested during October and November.
The primary reason for the decline in the sown area could be attributed to the slow advancement of the monsoon in the month of June and its uneven spread in July in most parts of the country.
Many in India were worried that less area under paddy under cultivation so far this Kharif may lead to low production of the foodgrain.
Overall Kharif sowing, however, has been relatively better.
It is just a little over 2 per cent lower than 2021 at 1013 lakh hectares. In 2021, total sowing was across 1038 lakh hectares, the latest Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare data showed.
In a major decision, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the disposal of 15 lakh tonne chana to States and Union Territories at Rs 8 per kg discount so that it can be utilized for various welfare schemes.
These pulses will come from the stock that was procured under the price support scheme at the Minimum Support Price and price stabilization fund.
"Under this approved Scheme, the States/UTs Government are offered to lift 15 lakh tonne of chana at the discount of Rs 8 per kg over the issue price of the sourcing State on first come first serve basis," an official statement said on Wednesday.
This discount will be a one-time dispensation for a period of 12 months or till the complete disposal of 15 lakh tonne stock, whichever is earlier. The Government will spend Rs 1,200 crore for the implementation of this scheme.
In recent times, India has witnessed a record high production of chana -- especially during the last three years.
The government under the Price Support Scheme has made record procurement of chana during Rabi 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22. Due to this, 30.55 lakh tonne of chana is available with the government under PSS and PSF scheme.
In the coming Rabi season too, the production of chana is expected to be "good", the government said, adding that high production coupled with an increase in Minimum Support Price for chana for 2022-23 is expected to entail additional procurement.
Besides discounts on chana to States and UTs, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday raised the procurement ceiling under the price support scheme from the existing 25 per cent to 40 per cent for pulses such as tur, urad, and masur. (ANI)