Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh, which is among the constituents of India’s proverbial rise bowl, is targetting to procure 7 million tonnes (MT) of paddy from the state farmers in the current kharif procurement season 2022-23.
In this season, the paddy minimum support price (MSP) has been fixed at Rs 2,040 per quintal (100 kg) for common paddy and Rs 2,060 per quintal for Grade A paddy.
Considering the MSP and if the state government agencies and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) are able to achieve the procurement target, almost Rs 14,000 crore will be infused into the state rural economy through the purchase of the cash crop for feeding the public distribution system (PDS) and free ration schemes.
Earlier, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath had directed officials to ensure timely payment to the paddy farmers even as he issued strict orders against slackness. The paddy procurement cycle is effective for five months during Oct-Feb.
About 4,000 procurement centres have been set up to facilitate the institutional purchase of paddy. Such centres are set up by UP Cooperative Federation (PCF), UP food and civil supplies department, UP Cooperative Union, UP Consumer Cooperative Union and UP State Krishi Utpadan Mandi Parishad, as well as the FCI.
The procurement centres are geo-tagged with the help of Lucknow-based Remote Sensing Application Centre (RSAC) for transparency and efficiency.
In UP, the institutional purchase of paddy, wheat and sugarcane forms the bulk of the monetary handout to the state farmers, and is collectively estimated at more than Rs 50,000 crore annually.
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While paddy and wheat are primarily purchased by the central and state government agencies, a majority of the UP sugar mills operate in the private sector