Wheat procurement up 27%, crosses record 36-MT mark

Written by Sandip Das | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 12 2012, 09:37am hrs
The governments wheat procurement for 2012-13 crossed a record 36 million tonne (MT) on Monday. The actual lifting would increase further in the coming days as farmers, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, are still bringing in their produce to mandis.

This years procurement is more than 27% higher than last years cumulative purchase of 28.3 MT from farmers by Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other agencies. Its even higher than the target of 31.8 MT set for the current year by the food ministry in consultation with states.

The massive procurement was supported by a bumper wheat output of 90 MT for the current year. Last year, the country produced 86.87 MT wheat. The record purchase has boosted the governments wheat stocks to over 50 MT, out of which more than 1.1 MT had been lying in the mandis because of lack of storage.

The biggest jump in contribution to the central pool has come from Madhya Pradesh where the state civil supplies corporation purchased close to 8.5 MT of wheat farmers in the current year against around 5 MT lifted last year. While Punjab contributed more than 12.8 MT of wheat to the central pool, Haryanas procurement was more than 8.6 MT.

The higher contribution in MP could be attributed to an extra R100-per-quintal bonus, along with the minimum support price (MSP) of R1,285 per quintal.

We have been providing bonus to wheat farmers since the last few years and we want to become the single biggest contributor of wheat to the central pool in the next few years, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan had recently told FE.

Against only 1.18 MT of wheat procured last year, Rajasthan has already purchased more than 1.7 MT thisbyear and the procurement is expected to continue till the end of this month. UP has contributed 3.6 MT of wheat against 2.6 MT in the previous year.

The procurement for the season would wind up in next two weeks, said an FCI official.

FCI purchases wheat from farmers for allocating it to states for distribution under the targeted public distribution system (TPDS) and maintaining buffer stocks and strategic reserves norms.

Wheat is a winter crops and is mainly grown in Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The annual domestic consumption of wheat is around 76 MT.