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Wheat procurement target may rise on bumper harvest

Wheat procurement target may rise on bumper harvest

Wed May 15 2019



The government is likely to exceed its wheat procurement target this year following a bumper harvest. It has already bought 2 9.2 million tonnes (mt) as on May 10, which is 81 per cent of the targeted 35.7 mt for the year. Harvest has touched 99.12 mt this year.


Last year, the government bought 35.5 mt, against the targeted 32 mt. Production last year hit 97.11 mt. Wheat procurement, which started on April 1 in most states, is likely to continue until June 15. Procurement has been aggressive in Haryana and Punjab, which has so far contributed over 21.1 mt to the central pool, more than 72 per cent of the total procured across the country.


“Punjab and Haryana went aggressive in buying, as elections in these states were scheduled in the last two phases,” said a senior Food Corporation of India (FCI) official. While Haryana completed its target before voting on May 12, Punjab is just 0.5 mt short of target, which is likely to be met by May 19 – the day it votes, he said. Buying, however, has been sluggish in other major wheat growing states such as UP, MP and Rajasthan, as electoral activity overlapped with the procurement period.


“Procurement in these states will intensify after elections; before procurement ends on June 15, we expect huge buying in MP and UP, which has become a major procurement centre thanks to CM Yogi Adityanath,” said a food ministry official. In Bihar, procurement has yet to start although buying commenced from April 1. The state government buys wheat through vyapar mandals and primary agriculture credit societies (PACS). The FCI, which spearheads procurement in most states, has no role to play in Bihar.


“The government has set a target of 0.2 mt of wheat for Bihar, but not a single contribution has come to the central pool. The state has engaged PACS for procurement from registered farmers, but PACS is yet to do any buying,” said a senior FCI official in Bihar.



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