No procurement centres for paddy cultivated in rabi

The State government will not open procurement centres for paddy cultivated in the current rabi as the Centre has refused to purchase the stocks but the Rytu Bandhu assistance of ₹5,000 an acre to farmers will continue for the season.

The government, however, will buy the entire produce of kharif though the Centre had committed to accept only 40 lakh tonnes of custom milled rice while the yield in the season was much high, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said at a press conference after a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

He said there was no question of procuring paddy produced in rabi as the Centre has expressed helplessness to take boiled rice that was generated in rice mills out of the produce. The millers turned out boiled rice out of rabi crop to avoid broken rice which was the result of agro climatic conditions when temperatures shoot up beyond 35 degree C after February 25. Without boiling, the outage of raw rice was only 50%. The method of boiling was suggested by the Food Corporation of India itself. And, now the FCI also went back.

The local authorities of FCI agreed to take boiled rice but the Union Minister for Food and PDS Piyush Goyal threatened to suspend them if they had indeed given such an assurance. The Centre refused to take boiled rice citing buffer stocks in FCI godowns to last for another four years. If the stocks went up, it was the responsibility of Centre to explore alternatives even if it meant huge financial drain. One of the alternatives was free distribution of rice,.

Mr. Rao said there was no way the State government could procure rabi crop because all the godowns scientifically built for the storage were with the FCI. The government also had no role in exports. It will buy paddy of kharif solely to ensure that the farmers did not suffer. Already, the State has procured 22 lakh tonnes. If the Centre did not purchase the rice of kharif, the government will dump the stocks at the State BJP office and New Delhi.

He admitted that the State government had given an undertaking to the Centre not to supply paddy of rabi this year but it was done under duress. He targeted the Centre for not fixing the target for kharif on one hand and refusing to buy the produce of rabi on the other.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 2:43:04 AM |

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