Rice procurement drops due to lower output

Rice procurement by the government in the current marketing season has so far fallen by about three per cent to 26.24 million tonnes compared to the same period in the previous year, on account of lower production.

Food Corporation of India, the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, and state agencies had procured 27.09 million tonnes of rice in the corresponding period of the previous season, which runs from October to September. The centre had procured a record 33.68 million tonnes of rice in the entire 2008-09 season.

For the 2009-10 marketing season, it kept the procurement target lower than the last season, at 26 million tonnes, in view of less rice production in the 2009 kharif season on account of the drought that hit over 300 districts of the country.

With procurement surpassing the initial target of 26 million tonnes, FCI now expects rice procurement by the government in the 2009-10 marketing season to reach the 30 million tonnes mark.

The largest rice contributor to the central pool this season so far has been Punjab, where procurement has increased by about 10 per cent to 9.27 million tonnes compared to 8.46 million tonnes a year ago. Rice procurement from Chhattisgarh has also increased by 19 per cent to 3.03 million tonnes so far this season from 2.54 million tonnes in the same period last year.

FCI has procured 27 per cent more rice from Haryana so far this season, lifting 1.81 million tonnes as against 1.42 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year.