The government on Monday set a wheat procurement target of more than 30 million tonne (mt) for the coming rabi...
The government on Monday set a wheat procurement target of more than 30 million tonne (mt) for the coming rabi marketing season of 2015 -16.
In the last rabi season, the government agencies had purchased 28 million tonne of wheat from the farmers. Last year, the country produced a record 95.9 mt of wheat.
The wheat procurement target was arrived at following a meeting of food secretaries of the key producing states, including Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
As per food ministry’s estimate, more than 12 million tonne of wheat is expected to be procured in Punjab while 7 million tonne of grain would be purchased from the farmers in Haryana.
Madhya Pradesh, which carries out its own wheat procurement on behalf of FCI, the food ministry has set 6 mt target for the current year which is lower than last year.
“With the Madhya Pradesh government not announcing bonus over and above the minimum support price (MSP) this year, we expect the grain purchase to decline this year,” an FCI official told FE.
The other key contributors in the wheat purchase drive would be Rajasthan (1.8 million tonne) and Uttar Pradesh (3 million tonne)
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) along with state agencies would be commencing wheat procurement from April 1, 2015.
“As we anticipate bumper crop, our target is realistic and leaves out enough grain for the private sector to purchase,” an official said.
In 2014-15 marketing season, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh were top contributors to the central pool with procurement of 11.6 million tonne and 7 million tonne of wheat respectively.
Besides, key contributors the Centre’s wheat procurement drive were Haryana (6.4 million tonne), Rajasthan (2.5 million tonne) and Uttar Pradesh (5.9 lakh tonne) last year.
The private bulk buyers also purchased wheat more than 7 million tonne against around 3 million tonne reported in the 2013-14 rabi marketing season.
The government last year increased the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat by a nominal R50 to R1,450 a quintal to encourage farmers to cover more area under the crop in the ongoing rabi season.
The sowing of wheat begins in October and harvesting starts from April onwards. This year, wheat has been sown in more than 30.6 million hectare of areas compared to last year’s 31.5. million hectare.
The government procures wheat from farmers during April-June. At the start of the month, the government had wheat stocks of 22.14 mt against the buffer stocks norm of 13.8 mt for the month of January.