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Uttar Pradesh Government Allocates Rs 11,200 Crore for Paddy Procurement Amidst Farm Protests

Amid farm protests seeking minimum support price (MSP), the Uttar Pradesh government has stepped up paddy procurement and farmers’ payments in the state.

Saurabh Shukla
Uttar Pradesh Government Allocates Rs 11,200 Crore for Paddy Procurement (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Uttar Pradesh Government Allocates Rs 11,200 Crore for Paddy Procurement (Photo Source: Pixabay)

The Uttar Pradesh government has stepped up efforts to acquire paddy and make timely payments to farmers around the state amid continued farm protests calling for a guaranteed minimum support price (MSP). During the current kharif marketing season of 2023-24, the state has disbursed nearly Rs 11,200 crore to farmers in accordance with paddy procurement under the MSP framework. Surpassing 75 per cent of the set target, state government agencies along with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) have procured 5.3 million tonnes (mt) of paddy, out of the intended 7 mt for the season. The MSP for paddy stands at Rs 2,183 and Rs 2,203 per quintal for common variety and grade-A paddy, respectively.

In light of these developments, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed officials to ensure speedy payment to farmers, emphasizing that any delay will be met with strict action. Adityanath reaffirmed his dedication to empowering farmers and fostering rural prosperity. He highlighted Uttar Pradesh's significant contribution to India's food grain production, stating that despite occupying only 11 per cent of the country's cultivable land, the state contributes over 20 per cent to the overall production.

Significant Contributions from Sugar Mills

Along with significant advancements in the purchase of paddy, Uttar Pradesh's sugar mills have paid out more than Rs 15,000 crore to cane farmers. With more than 60 mt of cane crushed and 6 mt of sugar produced thus far, the state's sugar industry plays a pivotal role in the agricultural landscape. Of the total 120 sugar mills operating in the state, private companies account for 93 units, followed by 24 cooperative sector plants, and three UP State Sugar Corporation factories.

The surge in sugarcane cultivation is evident from the statistics, with the sugarcane area in the state expanding by 45 per cent from 2.05 million hectares (mh) in 2016-17 to nearly 3 mh in 2023-24. This expansion underscores the agricultural dynamism within Uttar Pradesh and its potential for further growth.

The swift payment for key cash crops such as wheat, paddy, and sugarcane holds significant importance for Uttar Pradesh's political economy, especially with the impending 2024 Lok Sabha polls just two months away. The government's proactive measures in agriculture are not only essential for the welfare of farmers but also contribute to the overall economic stability and development of the state.

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