In the upcoming Kharif marketing season, the Uttar Pradesh government has set a target to procure paddy worth over Rs 15,000 crore.
Officially the paddy procurement will commence on October 1 and continue till February 2024, starting with western UP and later covering the eastern part as well.
According to Principal Secretary (Food and Civil Supplies) Alok Kumar, the state has set a target to procure 70 lakh metric tons of paddy under the minimum support price (MSP) scheme.
The MSP for common variety and grade-A paddy has been fixed at Rs 2,183 per quintal and Rs 2,203 per quintal, respectively. This translates into procurement of Rs 15,000 crore worth of paddy if the state achieves its target.
“We will accord priority to small and medium farmers, whose net harvest is less than 60 quintals, so that they do not face a ‘distress sale’ situation,” Alok Kumar said.
The state food commissioner has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that small and medium farmers do not resort to distress sale or face hurdles at the procurement centres. Since Lok Sabha elections are due in early 2024, the state government is taking steps to keep farmers in good humour by ensuring prompt payment.
Meanwhile, about 4,000 paddy procurement centres will be set up in the state, of which 200 centres will be run by the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Around 1,600 centres will be set up by the UP Cooperative Federation, followed by the 1,350 by the Food department.