The government has so far procured nearly 890 lakh tonnes of paddy, an all-time high, at MSP in the current marketing year ending September for around Rs 1.68 lakh crore. This comes amid the ongoing farmers' protest at Delhi's borders. Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting for more than nine months over their demand for repeal of three new farm laws and a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP).
In a statement, the food ministry said the Centre has purchased 889.62 lakh tonnes of paddy till September 5 in the ongoing 2020-21 Kharif Marketing Season (KMS).
Food Corporation of India, the government's nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, had purchased 764.39 lakh tonnes of paddy in the corresponding period of the previous marketing season.
This year's procurement includes 718.09 lakh tonnes of paddy grown in kharif (summer sown) season and 171.53 lakh tonnes in rabi (winter sown) season. Paddy is a major kharif crop, but it is also grown in rabi season.
"This (procurement) has benefitted about 130.47 lakh farmers from the ongoing KMS procurement operations with MSP value of Rs 1,67,960.77 crore," the statement said.
Paddy procurement has reached at all-time high level, surpassing previous high of 773.45 lakh tonnes in KMS 2019-20, it added.
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