Agri Business

Foodgrains procurement “normal”, “smooth” despite farmers protests, says Centre

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on March 16, 2021

Procurement of foodgrains by the Centre to the central pool for distribution through the public distribution system and meeting any food emergency has so far been “normal and smooth”, Union Minister holding charge of Consumer, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal told Parliament today.

“There has been no deficit in the procurement of foodgrain against stocking norms. In fact, it is a surplus,” Goyal, who holds charge of Railways, Commerce and Industry portfolios, told the Lok Sabha.

He was responding to a question on the impact of the agitation by a section of the farmers since November-end last year against the new farm laws passed by Parliament in September last year.

Though the Government faced problems in procurement due to novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it had purchased 67.75 million tonnes (mt) of paddy as of March 11 this year compared with 59.35 mt during the same period a year ago.

Foodgrain stocks were higher than the statutory stocking norms, he said.

1.66 crore farmers with eNAM

The Centre’s initiative in launching an electronic national agricultural market (eNAM) has resulted in 1,000 market yards (mandis) in 18 States and three union territories integrating with it, the Lok Sabha was informed.

So far, 1.66 crore farmers have registered to trade on eNAM along with 1,012 farmer producer organisation (FPOs) and 1.31 lakh traders, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

The minister said 175 commodities, including foodgrains, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables were traded on eNAM platform until May last year with farmers transacting business over Rs one lakh crore.

Some 34.3 million tonnes of commodities have been traded on eNAM, besides 3.81 million bamboo and coconuts.

According to data provided in the response, Uttar Pradesh accounted for the largest number of farmers registered with eNAM at 33 lakh, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 30 lakh and Haryana at 27.2 lakh.

Published on March 16, 2021

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