Govt’s wheat procurement operation picks up pace

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New Delhi | Published: April 16, 2015 12:10:32 AM

After a delay of at least two weeks, wheat arrivals in mandis across key states, including Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, have picked up pace in the last few days.

After a delay of at least two weeks, wheat arrivals in mandis across key states, including Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, have picked up pace in the last few days.

According to the latest data, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government-owned agencies have lifted close to two million tonne of wheat from farmers across states in the ongoing rabi marketing season (2015-16), which is marginally lower than the grain procured during same period last year.

A food ministry officials told FE that more than 1.5 million tonne of wheat has been procured in Madhya Pradesh till now and farmers in Haryana and Punjab have also started to bring in their produce to mandis after delay of close to a fortnight in harvesting because of excessive moisture in the crop.

Officially, the wheat procurement drive for a year commences on April 1 and concludes on June 30.

In Haryana, which has suffered maximum damage to its wheat crop due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms, more than 3 lakh tonne of wheat has been purchased by the state government-owned agencies while more than 5 lakh tonne was purchased from the farmers during same period last year.

An official said the agencies have commenced grain purchase operations in Punjab, which contributes more than 12 million tonne of wheat to the central pool, in the last few days. “Even in Uttar Pradesh, we expect the procurement drive to pick up in the next few weeks,” the official said.

Haryana has scaled down its wheat procurement target to 6.5MT from 7 MT. As per an assessment done by agriculture ministry, crops in 1.7 million hectare in the state have been adversely impacted by recent rains and hailstorms.

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