Payments worth Rs 159,659.59 crore have been made to as many as 1.12 crore farmers by the centre for having procured paddy at Minimum Support Price (MSP), the Union food ministry said Friday.
Food Corporation of India, the nodal central agency, along with other state agencies undertakes procurement of paddy under the price support scheme (at MSP). Those procured paddy is then milled to make rice and distributed to the public under various food security schemes.
Farmers are not legally bound to sell their produce to government agencies but they are free to sell their produce anywhere at any prices they get.
"If the farmers get prices better than the support price from other buyers such as traders/millers etc., they are free to sell their produce to them."
"FCI and the state government/agencies (however through its procurement drive) ensure that the farmers are not compelled to sell their produce below support price," the food ministry said in a release.
Before the harvest, during each Rabi or Kharif crop season, the central government declares the minimum support prices (MSP) for procurement. Paddy MSP for 2022-23 is Rs 2,040-2,060.
India has three cropping seasons -- summer, kharif, and rabi.
Crops sown during June-July and harvested in October-November are kharif. Crops that are sown during October-November and the produce harvested from January-March depending on maturity is Rabi. Crops produced after rabi but ahead of kharif are summer crops.
Meanwhile, third advance estimates of production of major crops for the agricultural year 2022-23 released by the agriculture ministry on Thursday pegged total foodgrain production in the country at a record 330.5 million tonnes, which is higher by about 15 million tonnes as compared to the previous year 2021-22. (ANI)