Agri Business

Centre agrees to purchase 20 lt more parboiled rice from Telangana

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on September 20, 2021

FILE PHOTO: Rice grains being winnowed at a paddy field in Kerala’s Thrissur district   -  The Hindu

With its demand from the States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal waning, Telangana was beginning to worry about the surplus stocks

Putting an end to Telangana’s parboiled rice woes, the Centre has in-principle agreed to purchase an additional 20 lakh tonnes (lt) from the stocks that the State procured last year.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) had earlier said it would procure only 24.75 lt out of the 92 lt of paddy (from the Rabi season) that the Civil Supplies Department purchased a few months ago.

With the demand for the parboiled rice from the States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal waning, Telangana was beginning to worry about the surplus stocks that it carries from the Rabi procurement season.

“Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had taken up the issue with the Centre and requested to bail the State out of the crisis. The Centre has agreed in-principle to procure an additional 20 lakh tonnes,” a senior State government official said. He, however, said that there is no official communication yet on this.

In the agricultural season last year, the State procured a whopping 141 lt, including 49 lt in the Kharif season. While the produce (raw rice) from the kharif has got enough takers, the Rabi produce (parboiled) has got no takers, posing a serious challenge to the farmers.

Even the FCI has made it clear that it is not going to procure the Rabi rice in the next season, citing huge buffer stocks piled up in the country. Parboiled rice is something mostly confined to the Rabi season.

The millers boil the (Rabi) rice partially while it is still in the husk as it is brittle and prone to breaking during milling because of the excessive heat that the grain is exposed to in the summer season.

People in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana consume the fine varieties grown in the Kharif season. Alerted over the FCI’s caution on its inability to buy parboiled paddy next year, the State government recently advised the farmers not to cultivate paddy in the Rabi.

“The FCI is still interested in the raw rice. It is only saying it can’t buy the Rabi paddy,” the official said. The farmers’ unions, however, have demanded that the State and Union governments should procure the paddy as they had been doing for years.

Published on September 20, 2021

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