Paddy procurement in the on-going season has increased marginally (0.6 per cent) to 55.7 million tonnes (mt) as on January 12 from the year-ago period as pace of purchase has increased in Uttar Pradesh and some other states this month.

About 67.45 lakh farmers have already been benefitted in the ongoing season and received ₹1.09-lakh crore (at MSP rate of ₹1,960 per quintal), an official said.

Pan-India purchases of paddy were down 1 per cent at 49.75 mt as on January 3 from year-ago period.

According to latest procurement data, the Centre has purchased higher paddy in states like Telangana, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, while it is lower in Assam, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab since the official purchase for 2021-22 season began from October 1.

Higher surplus

“The main problem in rice procurement is not the high level of purchase; rather the reasons as some states continue to report higher than their marketable surplus and justifies that with higher yield,” said an official source.

The procurement in Punjab and Haryana has already ended, while it will end this month in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. While in most other states, the kharif-grown paddy will be purchased until March 31, the procurement window in Uttar Pradesh is until end of February.

Paddy procurement in West Bengal is down nearly 38 per cent at 3.95 lakh tones (lt) as on January 12 and 16 per cent at 48.9 lt from the year-ago period. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are the top two producers of paddy, but their share in the Central Pool stock is lower compared with Punjab, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

Shift to non-basmati

With sustainable rice production and the resultant procurement in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh may help the government to shift non-basmati rice cultivation from Punjab, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh due to depleting level of groundwater, many experts have previously said.

The paddy purchases in Telangana has reported 53 per cent increase at 70.17 lt while Chhattisgarh has shown 15 per cent higher procurement at 68.37 lt. But procurement in both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha has been lower by 18 per cent at 18.70 lt and 30 per cent at 21.27 lt, respectively. There is still time till March to cover the fall in procurement in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, unless it is impacted by Covid restrictions.

In eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh, the fall was 22 per cent as on January 3 which was now recovered and the decline is reported to be around 18 per cent while eastern region of the State continues to be 13 per cent lower than year-ago. There has been some improvement in procurement in eastern UP and it is likely to be at last year level in next 15 days, officials said.