The Centre has procured 531.22 lakh tonnes of paddy so far during this kharif marketing season from over 70 lakh farmers at MSP, costing a little over Rs 1 lakh crore, amid the ongoing protest by farmers at Delhi borders seeking repeal of three new farm laws and legal guarantee of MSP.
The kharif marketing season starts from October.
“In the ongoing kharif marketing season (KMS) 2020-21, the government continues to procure kharif 2020-21 crops at MSP from farmers as per existing MSP schemes,” according to an official statement.
Paddy procurement has reached 531.22 lakh tonnes till January 8, up 26 per cent from the year-ago period.
“About 70.35 lakh farmers have already benefited from the ongoing KMS procurement operations with MSP value of Rs 1,00,294.26 crore,” the statement said.
Out of the total purchase of 531.22 lakh tonnes of paddy, Punjab has contributed 202.77 lakh tonnes.
“Till January 8, a quantity of 82,19,567 cotton bales valuing Rs 24,063.30 crore have been procured benefitting 1,60,0518 farmers,” the statement said.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at several Delhi borders for more than a month.
The eighth round of talks between protesting unions and the central government ended inconclusively on Friday as farmer groups stuck to their demand for the repeal of three laws. The next meeting has been scheduled for January 15.
Food Corporation of India (FCI) is the nodal agency for the procurement and distribution of foodgrains.
The Centre procures paddy and wheat at MSP to meet its requirements for the National Food Security Act (NFSA), under which 5 kg of grain is supplied per person per month through ration shops to over 80 crore people at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kg. The difference between the acquisition cost of grains and the issue price is borne by the Centre in form of food subsidy.