The Government policy of procurement of paddy has broad objectives of ensuring MSP to the farmers and availability of food to the weaker sections at affordable prices. It also ensures effective market intervention thereby keeping the prices under check, also adding to the overall food security of the country.
During the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2022-23, (upto 22.05.2023), the production of rice is 1308.37 LMTs (as per second advance estimate), procurement estimate of rice is 626.06 LMTs and quantity of rice procured is 520.63 LMTs. In KMS 2022-23 (upto 22.05.2023), this has led to MSP payment of Rs.159,659.59 Crores and beneﬁted 1,12,96,159 farmers.
FCI, the nodal central agency of Government of India, along with other State Agencies undertakes procurement of paddy under price support scheme. The procurement operations are majorly carried out by State Govts and its agencies.
Before the harvest, during each Rabi / Kharif Crop season, the Government of India declares the minimum support prices (MSP) for procurement on the basis of the recommendation of the Commission of Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) which along with other factors, takes into consideration the cost of various agricultural inputs and the reasonable margin for the farmers for their produce. MSP (Minimum Support Price) operations are given wide publicity through pamphlets, banners, sign boards, radio, TV and advertisements through print & electronic media.
Farmers are made aware of the quality speciﬁcations and purchase system etc. to facilitate the farmers to bring their produce conforming to the speciﬁcations. Procurement centres are opened by respective State Govt. Agencies/FCI taking into account the production, marketable surplus, convenience of farmers and availability of other logistics / infrastructure such as storage and transportation etc., large number of temporary purchase centres in addition to the existing Mandis and depots/godowns are also established at key points, for the convenience of the farmers.
To further strengthen the system such that the farmers directly get the MSP announced by Government of India, “One Nation, One MSP through DBT” implemented across the country from RMS 2021-22 onwards. Payment of MSP has been ensured directly into farmers’ accounts. DBT eliminated ﬁctitious farmers and reduced the diversion and duplication of payment as payment is being made directly to farmer’s bank account. DBT of MSP has brought in responsibility, transparency and probity.
FCI and most of the State Governments have developed their own Online Procurement System which ushers in transparency and convenience to the farmers through proper registration and monitoring of actual procurement. Through an e-procurement module deployed by procuring Agencies, farmers get latest/updated information regarding MSP declared, nearest purchase centre, date of procurement etc. This not only has reduced the waiting period for delivery of stock by the farmers but also enables the farmer to deliver stock as per his convenience in the nearest mandi.
Paddy brought to the Purchase centres which are within the prescribed specifications, are purchased at the fixed Minimum Support Price. If the farmers get prices better than the support price from other buyers such as traders / millers etc., they are free to sell their produce to them. FCI and the State Government/agencies ensure that the farmers are not compelled to sell their produce below support price.