Wheat procurement has risen by 16 per cent to 31.87 million tonnes so far in this marketing year and is all set to cross the government's target of 32 MT, according to official data. State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies had procured 27.57 MT in the same period of the 2017-18 marketing year (April-March). Total wheat procurement stood at 30.82 MT in 2017-18 and government had fixed higher target in view of record output. "There is increase in wheat purchase because more procurement centres were set up this year. As a result, more and more farmers are approaching the centres to sell their produce," a senior FCI official told PTI. As many as 18,326 centres have been established for wheat procurement this year, as against 17,304 centres last year, he said, adding that wheat procurement will surpass the target. As per the data, wheat buying in Punjab has increased to 12.48 MT so far in the 2018-19, from 11.55 MT in the year-ago period. Similarly, wheat buying in Haryana has gone up to 8.71 MT from 7.36 MT, while in Uttar Pradesh it has increased to 3.03 MT from 1.6 MT in the said period. Wheat purchase in Madhya Pradesh has increased marginally to 6.24 MT so far this year as against 6.01 MT in the same period last year. According to the FCI official, the procurement operation in Haryana is almost complete and it will get over in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh by month-end. In Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, the procurement will take place till June 15, he added. Although wheat marketing year runs from April-March, the bulk of procurement is done in first three months. FCI and state agencies undertake purchase at the minimum support price. As per the second estimate, wheat output is likely to decline by 1.42 per cent to 97.11 million tonnes in the 2017-18 crop year.