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Govt's rice procurement reaches 52.06 million tones so far; makes Rs 1.6 lakh crore MSP payment

New Delhi: The government's rice procurement has reached 52.06 million tonnes so far in the ongoing 2022-23 marketing season, benefitting 1.12 crore farmers with MSP of Rs 1.6 lakh crore, the food ministry said on Friday. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) along with state agencies undertakes procurement of paddy under price support scheme. The Centre has set a target to buy 62.60 million tonnes of rice in the 2022-23 marketing season (October-September).

The FCI had procured 57.58 million tonnes of rice during the 2021-22 marketing season. According to the food ministry, a total of 52.06 million tonnes of rice was procured up to May 22 of the current kharif marketing season.

As many as 1.12 crore farmers have benefited from the procurement operation. About Rs 1,59,659.59 crore has been paid as minimum support price (MSP) to them, it said in a statement. The government has fixed MSP of 'common' grade paddy at Rs 2,040 per quintal, while 'A' grade paddy at Rs 2,060 per quintal for the current year.

According to the third estimate of the agriculture ministry, rice output is pegged at a record 135.54 million tonnes for 2022-23 crop year, as against 129.47 million tonnes in the previous year.

The ministry said paddy brought to the purchase centres which are within the prescribed quality specifications are purchased at the fixed MSP. If the farmers get prices better than the support price from other buyers such as traders/millers etc., they are free to sell their produce to them. FCI and the state government/agencies ensure that the farmers are not compelled to sell their produce below support price, it said.

FCI and most of the state governments have developed their own online procurement system through which farmers get latest/updated information regarding MSP declared, nearest purchase centre, date of procurement etc., it added. (PTI)

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