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Despite poor Monsoon, Govt rice purchase up 21% this year

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government-owned agencies undertake procurement operations at the minimum support price (MSP). The Centre has kept rice procurement target of 30 mt for the current marketing year, which started in October. As per the food ministry data, these agencies have procured 28.41 mt of rice so far this year as against 23.42 mt in the year-ago period.
The procurement from eastern states like Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh has increased significantly. 

The rice procurement from Punjab has increased to 9.35 mt from 7.78 mt while the purchase from Haryana has risen to 2.86 mt from 2.01 mt. The procurement in these two states is over. Among other states, rice purchase in Chhattisgarh has increased to 3.97 mt so far this marketing year, from 3.35 mt in the year-ago period. The purchase of rice has gone up in Andhra Pradesh to 2.71 mt from 1.54 mt while the procurement in Uttar Pradesh has grown to 2.70 mt from 1.42 mt in the said period. In Odisha too, rice purchase rose to 2.04 mt so far this marketing year as against 1.94 mt a year ago. However, the purchase in Telangana was down at 1.01 mt as against 1.54 mt in the said period, the data showed.

The government expects overall rice procurement to exceed last year's level of 32 mt. As per the second estimate of the agriculture ministry, rice production is estimated to decline to 103.61 mt in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), from 105.48 mt during 2014-15, due to the poor monsoon. The agencies buy paddy from farmers and hand it over to millers for conversion into rice. 

Sugar output rises 2% in Oct-Feb; exports slide to 1.2 mt 
India’s sugar production rose by 2 per cent to 19.94 million tonnes during the first five months of the current marketing year, starting October, while mills have contracted to export 1.25 million tonnes of the sweetener. Out of 513 sugar mills, 107 mills have so far shut their operations, mostly in Maharashtra due to scarcity of sugarcane in view of deficient monsoon last year. “From the beginning of the season, from 1st October 2015 to 29th February 2016, sugar mills have produced 199.47 lakh tonnes of sugar, as compared to 195.58 lakh tonnes produced during the same period in 2014-15 sugar season,” ISMA said in a statement. Sugar marketing year runs from October to September.           
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