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Govt Convenes Meeting with State Food Secretaries to Discuss Procurement Plans for Rabi and Kharif Seasons

The Government of India strategizes procurement plans for the Rabi and Kharif seasons, emphasizing crop diversification, digital transformation, and operational efficiency.

Shivam Dwivedi
Govt Convenes Meeting with State Food Secretaries to Discuss Procurement Plans for Rabi and Kharif Seasons (Photo Source: @fooddeptgoi/X)
Govt Convenes Meeting with State Food Secretaries to Discuss Procurement Plans for Rabi and Kharif Seasons (Photo Source: @fooddeptgoi/X)

The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, convened a meeting of State Food Secretaries on February 28, 2024, chaired by the Secretary, DFPD, Government of India. The primary agenda revolved around formulating robust procurement strategies for the upcoming Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2024-25 and evaluating the progress in the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2023-24.

Reviewing Procurement Estimates

Key factors influencing procurement, including weather forecasts, production projections, and state preparedness, underwent thorough assessment. Subsequent deliberations led to the determination of procurement estimates for the forthcoming RMS 2024-25. Notably, wheat procurement is slated within the range of 300-320 LMT, while paddy procurement, equivalent to rice, during KMS 2023-24 (Rabi Crop), is estimated between 90 - 100 LMT.

Emphasis on Diversification and Nutrition

In a bid to promote crop diversification and enhance nutritional intake, approximately 6.00 LMT of coarse grains/millets, colloquially known as Shri Anna, are earmarked for procurement during KMS 2023-24 (Rabi crop). States and Union Territories (UTs) received directives to prioritize millet procurement, envisioning a healthier dietary pattern.

The meeting witnessed the exchange of commendable initiatives undertaken by various states. The Government of Telangana highlighted successful practices in Supply Chain Optimization, leading to an annual saving of Rs 16 Crore and bolstering environmental sustainability. Similarly, the Government of Uttar Pradesh showcased a pioneering initiative integrating e-PoS with electronic weighing scales, ensuring precise allocation of foodgrains to beneficiaries.

Digital Transformation in Procurement

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare presented an evaluation study on the Digital Maturity of State MSP procurement applications. Encouraging states to align their applications with the AgriStack portal's standard features, the ministry emphasized enhancing transparency and efficiency in the procurement system before the commencement of KMS 2024-25.

Deliberations extended to addressing operational hurdles, including Supply Chain Optimization for seamless foodgrain transportation, infrastructural enhancements at Procurement Centres, adherence to Good Milling Practices, and integrating Fair Price Shops onto the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

The meeting witnessed the participation of key stakeholders including the Chairman & Managing Director of FCI, Principal Secretary/Secretary (Food) of States, representatives from the Indian Meteorological Department, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd., and National Cooperative Consumers' Federation of India Ltd.

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