With this, the state surpassed its procurement target of 5 MT by 13 per cent. Last year, the state had clocked paddy purchase of nearly 4.83 MT. (See table)
The state paddy procurement season had commenced on October 1 and was to officially conclude by the end of February 2020.
According to official statistics, state government agencies and Food Corporation of India (FCI) procured the food grain from more than 700,000 farmers, including sharecroppers and contract farmers for the first time.
The procurement had been robust due to the high priority accorded by the state for ensuring a hassle-free process and the emphasis it laid on making the fields vacant for enabling early sowing of rabi crop, including wheat.
The Adityanath government has been working on doubling farm income by 2024, with high procurement, remunerative prices, prompt payments, and early vacancy of fields among the key elements of the plan. It is also promoting food processing and allied industries to enrich the farm value chain further.
At total of 3,977 procurement centres, including 103 run by the FCI, had been set up across the 75 districts in the state to facilitate direct purchase from farmers.
Meanwhile, more than Rs 9,000 crore had been paid directly into the registered bank accounts maintained by paddy farmers against the procurement.
According to UP agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi, while under the previous regimes, the state paddy farmers had to wait for months to get their outstanding payments, they were getting their dues promptly under the present dispensation.
In September 2019, the UP cabinet had announced the paddy procurement policy for 2019-20, increasing the minimum support price (MSP) to Rs 1,835 per quintal for Grade-A paddy, apart from provisioning Rs 20 per quintal additional for farmers as transport and other support. This hiked the effective state paddy procurement price to Rs 1,855 per quintal.
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has pegged the aggregate credit potential in the UP agricultural and allied sectors at Rs 2.94 trillion for the financial year 2019-20. It is a growth of over 9.7 per cent compared to the figure of Rs 2.68 trillion estimated for the current 2019-20 fiscal year by Nabard. Last year, the state credit potential had grown by 13 per cent.
Compiled by Virendra Singh Rawat