HYDERABAD: With the Centre making it clear that it would not be able to procure parboiled rice anymore, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao asked the farmers not to go in for paddy in future as parboiled rice mills in the State face the prospect of closure.
At a high-level meeting with officials on Sunday, September 12, 2021, the Chief Minister said after the Centre’s procured 60 lakh tonnes which it has promised, anything more would only lead to a problem. He directed the officials to ensure that farmers should go in for crops including pigeonpea, groundnut, castor, sunflower, sesame, mustard and vegetables as there would be no procurement of parboiled rice in future.
Officials from the agriculture and marketing departments brought to the notice of the Chief Minister how Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal had made it clear that the Centre would not procure parboiled rice anymore and that alternatives needed to be explored.
The officials informed the Chief Minister that parboiled rice needed for the next five years was already in store with the Centre, with 70 lakh tonne procured paddy still lying in rice mills and other places, pointing out that an additional burden of Rs 2,000 crore would fall on the State government if last Yasangi’s paddy was not procured completely by the Centre.
In view of paddy being grown in 55 lakh acres across the State this Vaanakalam season with an estimated 1.40 crore production, it was decided that through IKP procurement centres only 60 lakh metric tonne paddy would be procured this season, as opined by the officials.
The officials, however, felt that the Centre was trying to shed responsibility off its shoulders for its failure in predicting this situation and for not taking enough steps to encourage either exports, so that this issue could be proactively addressed beforehand.