Rice procurement declined by nearly seven per cent to 31.45 million tonnes in the 2009-10 marketing year that ended last month due to a sharp fall in production on account of the drought last year, according to government data.
Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution, had procured a record 33.6 million tonnes in 2008-09 marketing year (October-September).
India’s rice production fell to 89.13 million tonnes in 2009-10 crop year (July-June) against record 99.18 million tonnes in the previous year. Production fell sharply as country witnessed a severe drought in 2009.
According to FCI data, Punjab has contributed around 30 per cent to the central agency’s rice procurement followed by Andhra Pradesh.
FCI has procured 9.27 million tonnes of rice from Punjab against 7.2 million tonnes in 2009-10 crop year and 8.5 million tonnes the year before, while the procurement from Andhra Pradesh stood at 7.2 million tonnes.
As per government norms, the FCI should have 26.2 million tonnes of wheat and rice available in its buffer stock as of October 1. This includes 5 million tonnes of strategic reserves.
The Centre has created a strategic reserve of three million tonnes of wheat and two million tonnes of rice over- and-above the normal buffer stock.