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Food ministry issues uniform specifications for foodgrains procurement

New Delhi,  The food ministry on Monday said it has issued uniform specifications for foodgrains to be procured by the Centre in order to ensure that farmers get due price without any rejection of their crops.

State-owned Food Corporation of India and other procurement agencies have been asked to buy grains from farmers as per the specifications. The agencies have been directed to ensure hassle-free procurement from farmers at the minimum support price (MSP).

For the first time, the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution issued uniform specifications for Fortified Rice Kernels (FRK) for grade A & Common Rice, an official statement said.

In case of procurement of fortified rice stocks, 1 per cent of FRK (w/w) should be blended with normal rice stock.

The department issued the uniform specifications of food grains for central pool procurement for the ensuing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21. The KMS runs from October to September.

These specifications as per standard practice have been issued in respect of paddy, rice and other coarse grains namely Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Ragi.

These specifications also include standards of rice to be supplied to States/UTs for distribution under TPDS (Targeted Public Distribution System) and Other Welfare Schemes based on the uniform specifications of rice for KMS 2020-21.

“The State Governments are requested to ensure that wide publicity of the Uniform Specifications is made among the farmers to ensure that they get due price for their produce and any rejection of the stocks is completely avoided,” the statement said.

All States/Union Territories and Food Corporation of India have been asked to ensure that the procurement during KMS 2020-21 should strictly in accordance with the uniform specifications.

“in order to protect and promote interest of farmers, Government of India has pre-poned, Kharif Procurement Period from September 26, 2020 in respect of Haryana and Punjab and for rest of the country from September 28, 2020,” it said.

The Food Corporation of India and States Procurement Agencies have been directed to ensure hassle free procurement and Minimum Support Price (MSP) payments to farmers. PTI