- Wheat procurement in India has reached 195 lakh tonnes, exceeding the total purchase made during the previous year.
- The government has relaxed quality specifications for wheat procurement, reducing the hardship of farmers and avoiding distress sales.
- The combined stock position of wheat and rice in the Central Pool has surpassed 510 LMT, ensuring the country's food security.
Indian government announced on Thursday that wheat procurement has reached an impressive 195 lakh tonnes, exceeding the total purchase made during the previous marketing year. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution stated that this year's wheat procurement has already surpassed the total procurement of the previous year, which stood at 188 lakh tonnes.
The statement also mentioned that the procurement has largely benefitted farmers, with the government making a minimum support price outflow of approximately ₹41,148 crore to about 14.96 lakh farmers during the ongoing wheat procurement operations.
The three major wheat procuring states of Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh have made significant contributions, with procurement of 89.79 LMT, 54.26 LMT, and 49.47 LMT, respectively.
One of the main reasons for the progressive procurement this year is the government's relaxation of quality specifications for wheat being procured due to untimely rains leading to luster loss, reducing the hardship of farmers and avoiding distress sales.
Moreover, the Central government has allowed all states to open procurement centres at the village/panchayat level and carry out procurement through Co-operative Societies/Gram Panchayats/Arhatias, etc. This move, in addition to already existing designated procurement centres, will ensure better outreach.
The procurement of rice is also progressing smoothly, with 354 LMT of rice procured until April 26, 2023, during the kharif crop of KMS 2022-23, with another 140 LMT yet to be procured. The government has estimated the procurement of 106 LMT of rice during the Rabi crop of KMS 2022-23.
The combined stock position of wheat and rice in the Central Pool has surpassed 510 LMT, putting the country in a comfortable position to meet its requirements of food grains. With the ongoing procurement of wheat and rice, the food grains stock levels are rising in government granaries.
This news comes as a relief to farmers, who have been facing difficult times due to the pandemic and its impact on the agriculture sector. The government's efforts to ensure smooth procurement and support for farmers are commendable and will go a long way in sustaining the country's food security.