The government has procured 16.51 million tonnes of rice so far in the current 2018-19 marketing year and the total quantity is likely to surpass the target, a senior Food Ministry official said Tuesday.
The rice procurement target set for this year was 37 million tonnes.
The government had procured 38.18 million tonnes during the last marketing year (October-September), exceeding the target of 37.5 million tonnes set for that year.
"Both state agencies and Food Corporation of India (FCI) have procured about 16.51 million tonnes of rice so far. The procurement definitely will exceed the target this year too," the official told PTI.
There will not be any impact on procurement, though crop in Punjab, Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh has been affected by deficient rain during September-end, he said.
Asked about private procurement, the official said a pilot was to be taken up in Jharkhand but the companies have not shown interest and not placed any bids so far.
"Wheat is easier to procure. In case of rice, they have to buy paddy and get it milled and stored. Many issues have to be kept in mind...," the official added.
As per the latest data, rice procurement in Punjab reached 10.86 million tonnes, Haryana at 3.88 million tonnes, Telangana at 9,96,779 tonnes, Chhattishgarh at 3,02,319 tonnes and Uttrakhand at 1,71,098 tonnes so far this marketing year.
Tamil Nadu has procured 1,10,771 tonnes of rice, while in case of Kerala it stood at 49,813 tonnes and Maharashtra at 17,880 tonnes in the said period, the data showed.
Procurement is yet to begin in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
The official said that Punjab and Haryana have completed 60 per cent of the their rice procurement. The buying is underway in other states like Chattishgarh.
The paddy is procured at the minimum support price (MSP). State-run FCI and state agencies undertake procurement operation.
For the current year, the government has fixed paddy MSP of 'common' grade variety at Rs 1,750 per quintal, while that of 'A' grade variety at Rs 1,770 per quintal.
The government has pegged rice output to be 99.21 million tonnes in the kharif season of the 2018-19 crop year (July-June), as against the actual output of 97.50 million tonnes in the same season last year.