S. Vydhianathan

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) is likely to procure 16 lakh tonnes of paddy in the current season — between October 1, 2009 and September, 30, 2010. In the last season (2008-09), it purchased 17.9 lakh tonnes.

As on March 2, the corporation had procured 9.11 lakh tonnes from all over the State, including 8.37 lakh tonnes in delta districts, as against 11.78 lakh tonnes during the same period last year. The shortfall, according to a corporation official, was due to poor procurement of kuruvai paddy owing to failure of crops.

In the last season, in kuruvai alone, the corporation had purchased 3.04 lakh tonnes compared to a mere 36,000 tonnes in the current season. Another reason was that farmers this time had gone for superfine varieties such as Baptla as they were getting a better price compared to normal varieties.

The corporation is now purchasing grade-A paddy at Rs.1100 per quintal and common variety at Rs.1050 a quintal.

Daily arrivals in the current season are higher compared to last season. Direct purchase centres in the delta districts are receiving 22,000 tonnes per day as against 20,475 tonnes during the last season. The increased daily arrival is due to mechanisation of farming operations, especially harvest.

Tiruvarur district recorded the highest procurement of 3.18 lakh tonnes, followed by 2.6 lakh tonnes in Thanjavur and 1.90 lakh tonnes in Nagapattinam.

Procurement in non-delta areas was also encouraging, especially in Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga and Erode districts. The corporation had opened DPCs in these districts for the convenience of farmers and authorised District Collectors to open DPCs if there was demand from farmers.

The official said from the current season, the corporation was monitoring the procurement operation from a central control room, set up at the headquarters here.