Foodgrain stocks held in government godowns amounted to 50.2 million tonnes at the start of the current month, according to the latest data from the FCI.
Foodgrain stocks held in government godowns amounted to 50.2 million tonnes (Mt) at the start of the current month, according to the latest data from the Food Corporation of India.
FCI, the nodal agency for foodgrains procurement and distribution, had 20.4 Mt of rice and 29.8 Mt of wheat in its storage facilities as of September 1, a senior official said.
As per government norms, the FCI should have 26.2 Mt of wheat and rice available in its buffer stock as of October 1. This includes 5 Mt of strategic reserves.
The Centre has created a strategic reserve of 3 Mt of wheat and 2 Mt of rice over- and-above the normal buffer stock.
The government is sitting on a huge foodgrains stocks and is grappling with a storage problem. It is also not allowing exports of wheat and non-basmati rice due to high food inflation and to meet the requirement of foodgrains for the proposed National Food Security Act.
The higher stock availability is on account of bumper output and procurement in the last two years.
India produced a record 80.71 Mt of wheat in the 2009-10 crop year (July-June), beating the previous year's record of 80.68 Mt.
On the back of record output, FCI has so far procured 22.5 Mt of wheat in the 2010-11 marketing year (April-March), compared to a record 25.1 Mt last year.
In the case of rice, the country's production declined to 89.13 Mt in the 2009-10 crop year from a record 99.18 Mt in the previous year on account of a drought that hit over half the country.
Rice procurement in the 2009-10 marketing year (October- September) will continue till the end of this month and so far, the FCI has procured 30.9 Mt of rice against 33.08 Mt in the year-ago period.