By Neeraj Mohan
The Haryana government’s procurement of non-basmati paddy on the minimum support price (MSP) this kharif season may fall short of the set target of 60 lakh tonnes due to a decline in the arrival of rice reported in the state mandis.
With the harvesting of parmal varieties in its last leg, officials monitoring paddy procurement operations say that the arrival of paddy has reported a decline and the per day arrival has come down to around one lakh tonne from two-three lakh tonnes a week ago. The officials predict that the arrival may decline further in the next couple of days.
According to official figures, a total 44.62 lakh tonnes of paddy has been procured by the government agencies by October 24 on MSP of ₹2,183 to ₹2,203 per quintal. The figures reveal that this year’s total procurement in the first month is around 9 lakh tonnes lower than last year’s around 53.66 lakh tonnes procured by the government agencies in the first 30 days.
The officials said the decline in arrival is despite the fact that the procurement this year was advanced by a week and started on September 25 against the usual norm on October 1.
The highest 8.93 lakh tonnes paddy has been procured in Kurukshetra district till date followed by 8.56 lakh tonnes in Karnal, 8.06 lakh tonnes in Kaithal, 5.37 lakh tonnes in Yamunanagar, 4.70 lakh tonnes in Fatehabad and 4.68 lakh tonnes in Ambala district. The highest 24.14 lakh tonnes paddy has been procured by the Haryana Food Supply and consumers Affairs department, 13.73 lakh MT by the HAFED, 6.75 lakh tonnes by Haryana State Warehousing Cooperation.
Officials said that the procurement in most of the districts is less than the last year, like in Karnal, total arrival in the mandis of the district till October 24 was 8.56 lakh tonnes against 10.49 lakh tonnes of the last year.
The officials said that the farmers are not facing any problem regarding the payments as the government agencies have already disbursed ₹9,216 crore, the payment of around 40.32 lakh tonnes of paddy procured, into the bank accounts of farmers.
They said that the paddy procurement this year might remain below 55 lakh tonnes against the target of 60 lakh tonnes.
“Though the initial figures reveal that the arrival is lower than last year, we are hopeful that we will achieve the target of 60 lakh MT as the procurement will last for the next 20 days,” Mukul Kumar, director, food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department, Haryana.
The total area under paddy in the state was around 32.50 lakh acres against the 34.35 lakh acres last year, but the floods in around 12 districts had damaged standing crops on around 6.5 lakh acres and around 1.35 lakh farmers had reported crop damage on the e-Kshatipurti portal. Expecting a bumper produce this year, the state government has set a target of procuring 60 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice against 59 lakh tonnes procured last year.
However, officials said that the yield is good this year, but the arrival of paddy from Uttar Pradesh is nominal.
Concerned over the fall in the production, the state government has also increased procurement limit from 30 to 35 quintals per acre besides 10% extra, helping the farmers to sell around 36.5 quintals of non-basmati paddy on MSP.
This article has been republished from The Hindustan Times