Indian rice purchases fell by 4% in the first 45 days of the current season

Procurement of rice by the Food Corporation of India for the government’s buffer stocks fell 4.4 percent year-on-year to 161.3 lakh tonnes (lt) from the start of  the marketing season  on November 15 to 1 October At the end of October, it was 9 percent lower than a year ago, suggesting more buying in the past two weeks as the spread narrowed.  The acquisition was 168.75 liters on 15.11.2022. In the first two weeks of this month, no less than 57.77 liters of rice were bought from Keskipool, compared to 54.62 liters a year ago. 

 Purchase Target

  The government has set a target to buy 521.27 liters of rice from kharif crops in the 2023-24 (October-September) season. The Agriculture Ministry has estimated the kharif rice production to fall by 4 per cent to 106.31 million tonnes (mt) in the current kharif season from 110.51 mt year-ago “Though purchases have increased in the last fortnight, the overall quantity is still less by about 10 lt in absolute terms compared with the 2021 kharif season. While there was a deficient monsoon last year in key growing States of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the driest August in 2023 affected paddy crop in most of the States. There is also delayed arrival in many parts where re-sowing was done,” an official source said. Though Punjab’s contribution to the Central Pool stock was down by 13 per cent in the first month, the purchases have reached 108.7 lt as of November 15, down by 4.4 per cent from 113.70 lt. The government has set a target to buy 122 lt of rice from Punjab by the end of November. 

Earlier this week, the state government reopened nearly 300 shopping centers amid farmers’ protest.  In some areas, due to  heavy rain and overnight sowing, paddy grasses started to arrive late as harvesting was delayed. At first, the government believed that reduced production and better prices encouraged farmers to sell outside the government scheme, but later realized the problem and  now promised to provide 285 centers, officials said. “If necessary, the Center will be asked to extend the rice procurement period beyond November 30”, an official source in the state said.

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