Rice procurement up 13.5 per cent at 28.5 million tonnes

Procurement of rice during the latest kariff marketing season (as of 30 September 2008) stood at 28.50 million tonnes as against the overall procurement of 25.11 million tonnes in the same period of 2006-2007, an increase of 13.5 per cent over the previous year.

Total rice procurement of rice between 1 October 2008 and 10 December 2008 stood at 12.47 million tonnes as against 9.84 million tonnes procured during corresponding period in the same period of 2007-08 – an increase of 26 per cent.

The country is expected to have a stock of wheat of 7.19 million tonnes of wheat as of 1 April 2009 compared to the buffer norms of 4.0 million tonnes. Similarly it is estimated that the rice stock will be 6.6 million tonnes as of 1 April 2009, against the buffer norm of 5.2 million tonnes.

The government has created a strategic reserve of 3.0 million tonnes of wheat and 2.0 million tonnes of rice over and above the extant buffer stock, the release said.

In addition to the additional allocation of foodgrains reported last week, further one time additional allocation of 20,000 tonnes of rice, for December 2008 at economic cost has been made to Tamil Nadu for relief to people affected with heavy rain in coastal districts, the release noted.

The government, meanwhile, kept statutory guideline related to rice exports unchanged.

As against 41.36 lakh tonnes and 7.51 lakh tonnes of non-basmati and basmati rice, respectively, exported in 2007-2008, only 7.09 lakh tonnes and 6.76 lakh tonnes of non-basmati and basmati rice, respectively, were exported in the corresponding period in 2008-09 (up to 3 December 2008), the release added.