April 6: The state-owned Food Management and Trade Company Limited (FMTCL) has procured paddy worth Rs 781 million in the current fiscal year year. The company has procured 27,791 metric tons of paddy through its procurement centers and branches across the country as of March 25.
The company informed that the procurement of paddy at minimum price fixed by the government is in the final stage for this fiscal year. The procurement process will end very soon as very few numbers of farmers have approached the company to sell paddy.
The company had aimed to procure 60,000 metric tons of paddy for this fiscal year which seems to be unattainable. Sharmila Neupane, spokesperson for FMTC, said it has been difficult to meet the target as there has been short supply of paddy for commercial purpose.
The government keeps a stock of 33,000 metric tons of paddy for immediate supply during emergency like famine and epidemic. To increase the stock of paddy, FMTCL had recently invited tender to procure 5,000 metric tons of paddy.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the company had been unable to procure wheat in the last fiscal year. It had procured 60 metric tons of wheat only though it had set target to procure 3,000 metric tons of wheat. In the current fiscal year, it is preparing to procure 5,000 metric tons of wheat.
The company has started preparations for procurement as the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has already finalized minimum price for wheat. The Ministry has set the minimum price at Rs 3,111 per quintal, which is an increase of Rs 96 from the earlier price of Rs 3,015 during last fiscal year.