Madhya Pradesh: Registration drive for paddy procurement begins

The Madhya Pradesh government today started a month-long registration drive for the procurement of paddy harvested in 2020-21 (Jul-Jun) at the minimum support price, a state government official said.

"The registration drive aims to benefit producers of non-aromatic paddy," the official said. The procurement is likely to rise from the previous year level as the crop is expected to be higher this year.

Madhya Pradesh is among the leading growers of rice in the country. The government has increased the minimum support price for common variety of paddy to 1,868 rupees per 100 kg for 2020-21 (Jul-Jun) from 1,815 rupees last year.

Grade A variety of paddy has a minimum support price of 1,888 rupees per 100 kg, higher than 1,835 rupees last year. Higher returns from paddy last year prompted farmers to add more area under the crop this year, the official said.

The area under paddy in the state, as of Thursday, was at 2.9 mln ha, up 18.6% from a year ago level, according to the farm ministry data. Usually, rice procurement is open-ended and that assures farmers a guaranteed return on their produce.

However, this open-ended procurement policy has been leading to excess stocks in the central pool. Last year, over 500,000 farmers had registered themselves for selling their paddy at the minimum support price, the official said. So far today, 150 farmers registered for the procurement. Besides paddy, the state also started registration for coarse cereals--jowar and bajra, the official said.

Around 27,000 jowar and bajra farmers registered themselves for the procurement in 2019-20 (Oct-Sep) kharif marketing year, the official said. The Centre has fixed the minimum support price for the hybrid variety of jowar at 2,620 rupees per 100 kg, up from 2,550 rupees last year those for maldandi variety at 2,640 rupees per 100 kg higher than 2,570 rupees from last year level. Minimum support price for bajra harvested in 2020-21 is 2,150 rupees per 100 kg against 2,000 rupees last year.

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