Procurement of rice during the kharif season for the Central pool has exceeded last year's level, according to the Union Ministry of Agriculture.

Government agencies have so far procured 341 lakh tonnes of rice as against the 318 lakh tonnes purchased in the corresponding period last year.

Andhra tops

Andhra Pradesh has procured 96 lakh tonnes, followed by Punjab (86 lakh tonnes) and Chhattisgarh (37 lakh tonnes).

Among other States that have contributed significantly to the pool are Uttar Pradesh, with 25 lakh tonnes, and Orissa, with 24 lakh tonnes.