Govt expects higher rice production in Kharif season despite output worries

Despite concerns over production, the government set the estimated amount of rice it will purchase for the central pool at 518 lakh tonnes (LT), an increase of 1.60 percent from the previous year. In a meeting presided over by Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey here, the estimates were finalized following discussions with state food secretaries and Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials. The conference was held to discuss the necessary preparations for the rice procurement that will start in October and to finalize estimates for the Kharif season.

The food ministry released a statement following the meeting that read, “A quantity of 518 lakh tonne rice has been estimated for procurement for the next KMS 2022-23 (Kharif Crop), as opposed to 509.82 lakh tonne actually procured during last KMS 2021-22 (Kharif crop). “The Secretary advised state governments during the meeting to prioritize the purchase of millets due to both climate change and the upcoming International Year of Millet (2023). He claimed that the production of wheat and rice has been negatively impacted by climate change.

In contrast to the actual procurement of 6.30 lakh tonnes as of this point, a quantity of 13.70 lakh tonnes of coarse grains superfood has been planned for purchase by the states during the upcoming 2022–23 Kharif marketing season. The paddy is purchased by the government, which then processes it into rice in mills. The government-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other state agencies carry out the procurement at MSP.

Despite production concerns, by the last week of the current Kharif season, low rainfall in some parts of the country had reduced paddy field coverage to 367.55 lak hectares (ha), resulting in low rice yields. It is estimated that the procurement volume has increased so far. Some states, especially Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh, have little rainfall. Data show that at the same time last year he has sown 3.9999 million hectares of paddy fields.

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