The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has played a pivotal role in ensuring food security during the Covid pandemic. During the Rabi Marketing Season 2021-22, the Corporation has recorded an all time high wheat procurement of 433.44 lakh MT, recording 11% increase over last year’s procurement.
Speaking at an event organized to commemorate the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in Mumbai today, FCI Executive Director (West Zone) R P Singh said the Corporation was the back bone of free foodgrain distribution to the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. Under the Scheme, foodgrains @ 5 kg. per person per month was distributed to the 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act.
“Between April 2020 and November 2021 a record 598.87 lakh MT of foodgrains was allocated out of which 565.47 lakh MT grains were lifted” Shri Singh said. He paid tributes to the FCI employees who tackled several challenges during the pandemic, including acute shortage of hands, in ensuring timely transportation of food grains.
Shri Gopal Shetty, MP, who was the Chief Guest at the event lauded the role played by FCI during the Covid 19 pandemic and said “because of the extraordinary performance of Food Corporation of India, food grains could reach to the beneficiaries across India.
Meanwhile the Centre has today decided to extend the free food grains supply under PMGKAY scheme by another four months till March 2022, with an estimated outlay of Rs 53,334 crore.
One Nation, One MSP, One DBT becomes a reality
Speaking about the Direct Benefit Transfer, Shri R P Singh said, Prime Minister’s ‘One Nation, One MSP, One DBT’ vision has a become a reality across the country from this year. He said Direct Online transfer of MSP to farmers’ bank account has been implemented in all procuring states during the current Rabi Marketing Season of 2021-22. “The empowered farmers are no more dependent upon middlemen and are receiving the payment of their produce directly into their Bank accounts without delay or deductions” he added.
Speaking about the performance of West Zone, Shri R P Singh informed that though wheat procurement has been traditionally dominated by Punjab, during 2020-21 season, Madhya Pradesh surpassed the northern state become No 1 in wheat procurement.
Shri Singh also informed that, beginning Kharif Marketing Season 2021-22, all procurement portals in 24 procuring States has been integrated with a Central Food grains Procurement Portal to share identified Minimum Threshold Parameters such as online registration of farmers, verification of land records, digitization of mandi operations, MSP transfer and CMR/Wheat delivery management.