This is about four times the procurement done in the year-ago period.
The Uttar Pradesh government has procured 5.24 lakh tonne of wheat in the first 22 days of the ongoing rabi marketing year, which began on April 1. This is about four times the procurement done in the year-ago period.
According to state government officials, in the 2020-21 season, 1.25 lakh tonne of wheat was purchased till April 22. “Despite the raging Covid pandemic this year, the state has been able to procure record wheat from as many as 99,935 farmers from various districts, against 39,500 farmers in the last season. As per the MSP of Rs 1,925/quintal, 5.24 lakh tonne of wheat were purchased so far by state government agencies, an amount of Rs 1,035 crore has been transferred directly to the accounts of the farmers,” said Manish Chauhan, commissioner, UP food and civil supplies.
According to officials, farmers are being made to follow the COVID protocol such as use of sanitisers and masks, and strict social distancing norms are also being followed. The number of purchase centers has been increased from 5,000 last year to 6,000 this time to avoid overcrowding.
To ensure that farmers do not face any problem, the government has nominated seven purchasing agencies – Department of Food and Supplies, PCF, UPSS, UPPCU, SFC, Mandi Parishad and Food Corporation of India.
So far, the food department has procured 130,531.95 tonne, PCF 211,494.40 tonne, UPSS 44,475.20 tonne, UPPCU 61,008.88 tonne, SFC 13,357.10 tonne, Mandi Parishad 13,720.96 tonne and Food Corporation of India has purchased 17,883.55 tonne.
For the benefit of farmers, the government has started geo-tagging of all storage godowns and purchasing centers through remote sensing application centre.
“Further, the state government has allowed 150 farmers producer organisations (FPO) in the wheat procurement process this year,” a senior government official said, adding that the idea behind the FPO is to bring farmers, producer groups, traders and the agriculture and allied departments of the state government on one platform.