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Kharif rice procurement target set at 495 lakh tonnes

As India is heading for a record rice acreage during the current kharif season, the government has set a higher rice procurement target of 495.37 lakh tonnes (lt) for the 2020-21 kharif marketing season (KMS), an official statement said here on Monday.

The decision to increase rice procurement target by 19 per cent from the previous marketing season’s 416 lt was taken at a meeting of State food secretaries convened by Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD), through video conferencing.

The procurement in 2019-20 KMS, however, exceeded the target by 4 lt and touched 420 lt, the statement said.

During the 2020-21 KMS, procurement estimates for Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have risen by 100 per cent and that for Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Jharkhand are higher by 50 per cent as compared to the previous season.

However, Punjab (113 lt), Chhattisgarh (60 lt), Telangana (50 lt) and Haryana (44 lt) would be the leaders in terms of estimated procurement targets. They would be followed by Andhra Pradesh with 40 lt and Odisha and Uttar Pradesh with 37 lt each.

In view of Covid-19, DFPD secretary requested all States to take necessary steps to ensure social distancing during procurement operations.

According to latest data available on the Food Corporation of India website, the total rice procurement last year – kharif and rabi together – was around 511.58 lt till Monday.

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