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AP and Kerala ‘finalize deal’ to purchase rice and groceries; Report

Thiruvananthapuram: Despite the administration’s efforts to obtain additional rice from outside the State, rice prices in Kerala are unlikely to decrease very soon. Other types of rice are anticipated to arrive in the Kerala markets within a month, even if the supply of ‘Jaya’ variety rice from Andhra Pradesh would be delayed by a further five months. After meeting with Kerala’s Minister of Food and Civil Supplies G R Anil the other day, Andhra Pradesh Minister K V Nageswara Rao declared that the state is not currently farming the well-known rice brand (Jaya). Rao is the minister of consumer affairs and civil supplies.

However, the Civil Supplies companies of the two states have agreed to begin supplying various types of rice, such as ‘Surekha,’ as well as food goods including bengal gramme, red cow pea, coriander, dried red chilli, and Kashmiri chilli, starting the next month.

The cultivation of ‘Jaya’ will restart in Andhra Pradeh. The seeds have already been prepared. Only after the harvest, which will take place in five months, will Kerala’s need for 3,840 tonnes of rice per month be able to be satisfied. Jaya and Jyothi make up 70% of the rice that people in Kerala eat. While ‘Jaya’ is purchased in Andhra Pradesh, ‘Jyothi’ is provided by the nearby states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The urgent need for inter-state ministerial-level talks resulted from a recent drop in the supply of rice from Andhra Pradesh, which caused the cost of basic goods to skyrocket. The increase in price is a result of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka’s decreased paddy yield. As of Monday, the cost of branded Matta rice is Rs 67 per kg, while the cost of loose Matta rice is Rs 60 per kg. Matta rice costs Rs 58 per kilogramme at wholesale.

Real ‘Jaya’ is not exchanged
Minister Nageswara Rao said that the rice sold in Kerala under the ‘Jaya’ brand name was fake. In the Godavari area, ‘Jaya’ is grown. According to Ahmed Babu, the managing director of Andhra Pradesh Dairy Development Cooperative Federation Limited, when the Food Corporation of India (FCI) halted its procurement years ago, the farmers in Andhra Pradesh began growing other rice brands instead of ‘Jaya’.  (Babu is from Kerala originally.) If bogus ‘Jaya’ rice is made available in the state, would the government take enforcement action? Minister Anil avoided providing a clear response.

White cardholders receive 10 kg of rice;
According to Minister Anil, white card holders in Kerala would receive 10 kg of grains this month at Rs 10.90 per kilogramme. 8 kg of this is extra on top of what is typically offered. According to him, blue card holders would also receive an additional 8 kg of specialty rice. The exceptional rice provision indicated by the minister was not included in the ration allotment chart that the Civil Supplies Department had released. The minister did guarantee that the same will be given out at ration shops. In taluks without Supplyco or Maveli stores, ration card users may pick up rice from Mobile Maveli Stores. Jaya, Kuruva, Matta, and Pachari shall be provided without charge.


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