New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) The government agencies engaged in procurement have bought over 1.6 tonnes of pulses and oilseeds as in the ongoing rabi marketing season 2020-21 as on April 16, said Union Agriculture Ministry in a statement on Saturday.
Despite a nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Central Nodal agencies like NAFED and FCI have started buying rabi crops directly from the farmers at Minimum Support Price (MSP) in several States as the Rabi marketing season 2020-21 is in progress.
Farmers are being given timely marketing support in the time of lockdown and maximum numbers of farmers are being catered to by observing the guidelines issued to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, said the statement.
The procurement of Pulses & Oilseeds at MSP from farmers under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) scheme in Rabi 2020-21 season is currently in progress in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
As on 16th April 2020 a quantity of 1,33,987.65 MT of Pulses & 29,264.17 MT of Oilseeds was procured by NAFED/FCI valued at Rs 784.77 Crores through which 1,14,338 farmers have been benefited. During the lockdown period 97,337.35 MT of Rabi Pulses & Oilseeds has been procured under PSS scheme.
Toor is being procured from farmers by NAFED at MSP under Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) scheme and also for the buffer stock of pulses. Toor procurement under PSS/PSF Kharif 2019- 20 season is underway in the States of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka & Telangana. Total procurement of Toor during Kharif Marketing Season 2019-20 is 5,32,849 MT out of which 29,328.62 MT of Toor has been procured since the lockdown period.
In Rajasthan, procurement of pulses and oilseeds in Kota Division was stopped after announcement of lockdown. From 15-04-2020, 54 centers in Kota division have started functioning and more number of procurement centres would be made operational in coming days.
Procurement in remaining Divisions of Rajasthan is proposed from first week of May 2020. A maximum of 10 farmers per day are called per procurement centre and accordingly information is sent to farmers.
Procurement of Mustard seeds and Gram was started in Haryana from 15-04-2020 in 163 centres. Limited numbers of farmers are being called everyday to maintain social distancing. About 27,276.77 MT of Mustard seed has been procured from about 10,111 farmers in the first two days.
Preparations have been made for procurement of Gram, Masoor and Mustard in Madhya Pradesh and farmers have been informed to bring their produce to the procurement centres.