The State is in for a record paddy procurement during the current Kharif Marketing Season (October 2010-September 2011).

As on April 23 (Saturday), the authorities procured about 17.9 lakh tonnes of paddy. This was about 4.7 lakh tonnes more than what was procured on the corresponding day last year.

During the KMS 2009-2010, 18.23 lakh tonnes were totally procured. The figures of procurement in the previous years were: 13.81 lakh tonnes in 2005-2006; 16.07 lakh tonnes in 2006-2007; 14.49 lakh tonnes in 2007-2008 and 17.92 lakh tonnes in 2008-2009.

A senior official of the Food and Civil Supplies Department says that the total procurement figure will touch at least 20 lakh tonnes at the end of the season this time.

The bountiful northeast monsoon of 2010 was cited as a major factor responsible for the present level of procurement. Of about 17.9 lakh tonnes procured, the Cauvery Delta region – Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Tiruchi, Pudukottai, Karur, Ariyalur, Perambalur and Cuddalore – accounts for nearly 14.7 lakh tonnes. Within the Delta region, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts have contributed 4.94 lakh tonnes and 4.65 lakh tonnes respectively. As for the payment to farmers, the official says that the farmers are being paid on the spot. As of now, Rs. 1,900 crore has been disbursed towards the procurement. For Grade ‘A variety of paddy, the rate per quintal is Rs. 1,100 and in respect of common variety, it is Rs. 1,050. The State government gives an incentive of Rs. 70 for Grade ‘A' variety and Rs. 50 for common variety over and above the minimum support price fixed by the Union government.