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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2002

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AP: Crop procurement to begin in 15 days

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THE Andhra Pradesh Government will commence brisk procurement operations within a fortnight, particularly for the purchase of rice and maize, in order to ensure minimum support price (MSP) for farmers.

The Central Government is expected to announce MSPs for various commodities by this month-end. The State Minister for Civil Supplies, Mr C. Muthyam Reddy, and the Minister for Marketing, Mr D. Anjaneyulu, said that a district-wise action plan would be prepared shortly for the procurement of agricultural commodities.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the officials of the agriculture, marketing and civil supplies departments on Tuesday, they said that the maize crop was being harvested in the State and 40,000 tonnes of maize had already entered the market. Currently, the MSP for maize was Rs 485 per quintal.

The Union Government, as in last year, had allowed the State to procure 45 lakh tonnes of rice in the current year. However, the actual procurement would depend upon the production levels and arrivals into the market.

Last year, the State Government could procure only 36 lakh tonnes.

On an average, rice procurement in the State would be of the order of 1.5 lakh tonnes during October.

The Ministers said that the rice stocks meant for food-for-work programme had been exhausted. The State was seeking the Centre's permission to lift 1.85 lakh tonnes by this month-end. These stocks should have been lifted last month itself, but the State could not do so due to lack of godown space.

Enough stocks were, however, available for the public distribution system, he added.

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AP: Crop procurement to begin in 15 days

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