The Indian government’s rice procurement reached 49.98 million tonnes (mt) as of April 30 during the ongoing marketing season from October 1. But it is a tad below 50.03 mt reported in the year-ago period. This may help the Government to provide additional allocation in rations shops, if needed even if wheat procurement falls below its target.

Rice procurement from the kharif season during October-April was 49.41 mt against 49,73 mt reported a year ago. The rabi crop, harvested from April, has begun arriving in some States and the Government has purchased 0.57 mt since April 1 against 0.3 mt a year ago. The maximum 0.23 mt purchase of the rabi crop is from Tamil Nadu, followed by 0..18 lt in Andhra Pradesh.

The government has set a target of 62.17 mt of rice procurement during 2022-23 season (October-September) which includes 51.56 mt from the kharif season and 10.62 mt in the rabi season. Overall, rice procurement in 2021-22 was 57.59 mt.

Wheat procurement

On the other hand, though wheat procurement has surged 38.3 per cent to 22.29 mt in the first month of the procurement period (April-June), only 4.4 per cent of the targetted 5.45 mt has been purchased from all States excluding top three Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.

.The government has to ensure the deficit in other states is covered, as only 4.4 per cent of the targetted 5.45 mt has bee purchased, so far, if the overall target is to be achieved.

While the kharif season’s procurement concluded in all states for rice in March, it continues in West Bengal till this month-end and till June 30 in Assam. Kharif harvesting started early in West Bengal in 2022 because of which the procurement showed an increase. However, it is stuck at 2.07 mt as of April 30, the same as it was until March 31 and there may not be any significant improvement in the state.

According to official data for the 2022-23 season, the rice procurement was 11.43 mt in October, 10.44 mt in November, 13.72 mt in December, 8.14 mt in January, 4.1 mt in February, 1.39 mt in March and 0.76 mt in April.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) had 24.86 mt of rice and 27.64 mt paddy (over 18.5 mt in terms of rice) as of April 1 in the Central Pool stock. According to APEDA’s crop survey, the country had 9 mt of Basmati rice production during 2022-23 and the Agriculture Ministry pegged the total rice output (both Basmati and non-Basmati) at 130.88 mt.

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