India. Wheat procurement crosses 30 million tonnes; UP buys one-tenth


The wheat purchase by Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government agencies has crossed 30 million tonnes (MT) during the current rabi marketing season. This is seven MT more than the total quantity of grain purchased during the same period previous year.

While Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have procured almost three-fourth of the total stock, Uttar Pradesh has made remarkable improvement. Till Monday, UP procured little over three million tonnes against only eight lakh tonnes during the corresponding period during last year.

Though the Yogi Adityanath government had set the target of procuring eight million tonnes, the four-fold increase in procurement is being seen as a positive indicator. UP annually requires about six million tonnes for public distribution system (PDS). "Increased procurement, which will take care of the 50% PDS requirement will help the state to save substantial amount which it usually spends for transporting the grain from states such as Punjab and Haryana," a food ministry official said.

Historically, UP has been laggard in terms of procurement of grain despite being country's biggest wheat producer. Since the arrival of wheat in UP mandis continues, sources said the total procurement could be close to 3.3 MTs, which is more than 50% of state's annual requirement.

"More procurement by state agencies also ensures that farmers get the assured minimum price. Till now private players would buy from farmers paying less than the MSP since the state did not have a robust procurement mechanism. Creating more storage capacity will enable the state to procure more, which will ultimately benefit the farmers," said a government source.

Official said overall higher procurement of wheat at national level will replenish depleted grain stocks with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and it will allow FCI to sell excess stocks through Open Market Sale Scheme for the bulk buyers.


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