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Record rice procurement on the cards

Chandigarh: Record procurement of rice is on the cards in India for the federal food security this season as arrivals have jumped in states where Assembly polls were held recently. While procurement has marginally trailed this year in traditional states like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, the pre-poll announcement of bonus has bolstered arrival of paddy in Chhattisgarh and Telangana.

Rice procurement this season crossed 263 lakh tonnes as of Friday compared to 254 lakh tonnes in the last year till January 2018.

“Rice procurement is higher than last year so far and it may turn out to be a record high if the trend reflects in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal where procurement lasts till June,” SP Kar, adviser, Food Corporation of India told ET.

After a sluggish beginning, paddy procurement picked up in UP in the last few weeks as the state relaxed procurement norms. The state allowed up to 35 per cent of hybrid paddy in overall procurement.

“Procurement has picked as Uttar Pradesh government has announced various relaxations including 3 per cent higher Out Turn Ratio for hybrid paddy,” a senior official of Uttar Pradesh food and supplies department said.

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