“Although the rice stock is relatively high, it is not at an alarming level. We require 32 mt of rice and 36 mt of wheat in our central pool for one year of distribution need, through the Public Distribution System (PDS). We are planning to start open market sale (OMS, of rice) in June to deal with such a high stock,” said R P Singh, executive director.
Since January, FCI has added at least eight mt of rice stock in its central pool. Market sources says there has been slow pick-up from states, due to high output of other cereals.
According to the official Second Advance Estimates, the country's rice output is estimated at 111.01 mt for 2017-18, a record. It was 109.7 mt in 2016-17.
“We have dealt with such a high inventory in the past and, hence, it will not be a problem to handle,” said Singh.
In April 2017, rice stocks in FCI’s central pool were 23.08 mt; wheat was eight mt.
The central government-owned agency also procures unmilled paddy and other coarse grain — 7.72 mt and 0.1 mt, respectively, at present in stock.