CM KCR said that he had met Union Minister Piyush Goyal in September and had asked that the annual target for procurement be fixed immediately, but no policy decision has been taken.

File photo of KCR addressing a press meet
news Agriculture Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 18:14

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to clarify on paddy procurement. He has asked the Union government to issue directions to the Food Corporation of India to complete the procurement of the balance 5 lakh metric tonne (LMT) of rice produced in the rabi season of 2020-21 and to increase the target beyond 4 lakh metric tonnes for the procurement of rice during the ongoing Kharif season (2021-22) to 90% of the production, as done in the state of Punjab. He has also asked the Union government to confirm the target of procurement of rice from Telangana.

“Food Corporation of India, which has the mandate of ensuring food security for the people by maintaining the buffer stocks and supplying rice and wheat through the public distribution system, is following certain policies which are creating confusion in the minds of farmers, as well as the State Governments,” KCR wrote in his letter. The target of procurement is not fixed for the entire year in one go, and even though the production is increasing year by year, the procurement is not keeping pace with it, the Telangana Chief Minister added.

“It is becoming difficult for states to plan an appropriate cropping pattern and explain the same to the farmers,” KCR said. He cited examples, saying that even though the production of rice in Telangana during Kharif 2021 was 55.75 LMT, the procurement was only 32.66 LMT, which is 59% of the production. “This was less than the 78% procured in Kharif 2019-20. Such wide variations in procurement levels does not allow the State to implement a rational cropping pattern,” KCR said.

CM KCR added that he had met Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal in September and had requested that the annual target for procurement be fixed immediately, but 50 days on, no policy decision has been taken and communicated to us.

KCR’s letter to the Prime Minister comes even as the ruling TRS cadre held protests and tried to obstruct Telangana BJP unit president and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar's visit to paddy procurement centres in Suryapet district of Telangana.

The TRS organised protests across the state on Friday last week, alleging that the NDA government refused to procure paddy in the state during the coming 'yasangi' (summer) crop season.

Taking exception to TRS holding dharnas against the BJP and the NDA government over the Union government's alleged refusal to procure paddy in the 'yasangi' (summer) crop, BJP leader and Union Minister G Kishan Reddy on Saturday asked how can the NDA government be called anti-farmer when it has heavily increased rice procurement from the state since it assumed office in 2014.