To the relief of Telangana farmers, the Centre has agreed to purchase six lakh tonnes of rice (about nine lakh tonnes of paddy) from the Kharif season, bringing the State’s total rice procurement to 46 lakh tonnes.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has set a target of 60 lakh tonnes of paddy (or 40 lakh tonnes of rice) from the state for the 2021 Kharif season, valued at ₹12,000 crore.
Telangana, which completed its paddy procurement target three days ago, stated that the target needed to be revised because it expected an additional 25-30 lakh tonnes of paddy.
Despite initial reluctance to raise the procurement target, the Centre has decided to do so, with the issue taking a political turn.
The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has launched statewide protests calling on the Union Government to buy more paddy from the state.
Ministerial team to Delhi
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao deployed a five-member Ministerial team to Delhi, led by Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy, to meet with Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal and officials.
Given this year’s bumper harvest, they wanted to put pressure on the Union Government to raise the upper limit. The state anticipates a total paddy production of approximately 1.3 crore tonnes from Kharif. It anticipates that approximately 90 lakh tonnes will be delivered to procurement centers.
The team returned to Hyderabad with no assurances from the Union Government that the target levels would be raised.