Wheat procurement crosses 30-mt mark

Written by Sandip Das | New Delhi | Updated: May 18 2012, 09:01am hrs
This seasons wheat procurement by FCI is 26% more than 2011-12

With the governments wheat procurement drive for 2012-13 inching towards a close in the key-growing states of Punjab and Haryana, the total purchase of the grain by Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government-owned agencies from farmers on Thursday crossed 30 million tonne (mt) against the 23.7 mt reported during the same period last fiscal. This fiscals procurement is 26% more than that in 2011-12.

According to the latest data, FCI has procured a record 12.4 mt of wheat in Punjab against 10.7 mt reported last year. Haryana has also contributed 8.4 mt of wheat to the central pool against last fiscal's 6.7 mt.

We will wind up procurement operations in Punjab and Haryana during the next one week, an FCI official told FE. Wheat procurement in these two states started from April 1.

With the expectation of a bumper wheat crop in excess of 90 mt this year, the government is aiming at purchasing close to 32 mt against the procurement of 28.33 mt in 2011-12.

The Madhya Pradesh government is aiming to purchase a record 6.5 mt of wheat during the current rabi marketing season. The state government had lifted 5 mt in the last fiscal. Till now more than 5.7 mt of wheat have been purchased against only 3.8 mt reported during same period in the last financial year.

Meanwhile, wheat procurement has picked up in Uttar Pradesh with more than 1.8 mt of grain being purchased from farmers against 1.3 mt lifted during the same period in 2011-12. Uttar Pradesh contributed 3.4 mt of wheat to central pool in 2011-12. The wheat purchase would pick pace during next two weeks in Uttar Pradesh, the FCI official added.

As reported by FE last week, due to jute bags shortages, wheat procurement in Madhya Pradesh has slowed down. Opposition parties have forced an adjournment of the Lok Sabha on the issue of non-availability of gunny bags hindering storage and transportation of grain by farmers.

The Madhya Pradesh government is taking up wheat procurement aggressively by offering a bonus of R100 per quintal apart from the minimum support price (MSP) announced by the Centre. In a bid to boost production, the government hiked the MSP for wheat to R1,285 per quintal against R1,120 in the last fiscal.

Because of the increase in procurement, the country's grain stocks with the FCI and state government-owned procuring agencies have crossed the all-time record of 71 mt at the start of May. The country had rice stocks close to 33 mt and wheat stocks in excess of 30 mt as of May 1.