Madhya Pradesh: Government may start buying major Kharif crops before schedule

Madhya Pradesh is planning to advance the date of starting procurement of major kharif crops--paddy, jowar, bajra and cotton--harvested in 2020-21 (Jul-Jun) from Nov 15 to anytime, an official with the state government said.

"Arrival of these crops is catching up the pace in spot markets. Eventually, it will weigh on prices. The state is planning to start procurement at earliest to support farmers," the official said.

The paddy procurement was scheduled earlier around Nov 25, and jowar and bajra Nov 15, he said. The official said that the state government also wants to procure a fine variety paddy sown in Gwalior and Chambal divisions, however, a final decision has not yet been taken.

The government has set a minimum support price of 1,888 rupees per 100 kg for fine-grade paddy this marketing season against 1,835 it set in the previous season. For common-grade paddy, the minimum support price was set at 1,868 rupees per 100 kg against 1,815 rupees last year. The state is also planning to set up another 600 centres to take the total to 1,500 centres for kharif procurement this year, he said.

Around 596,000 paddy farmers, 10,000 jowar farmers, and 29,416 bajra farmers in the state have registered for the procurement till Oct 9. Also, 54,926 cotton farmers also registered themselves. The last date of registration is October 15, he said. Madhya Pradesh is the among the leading growers of paddy and coarse cereals. Madhya Pradesh aims to procure 4 mln tn of kharif paddy, up around 54% from the previous year, the official said. Higher procurement target this year is due to hope of a bigger crop. While the first advance estimates for paddy production in Madhya Pradesh are yet to be released, output is seen higher based on preliminary reports, an official with the state's farm ministry said.

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