Punjab has topped the list of 8 agrarian states dispatching foodgrains (wheat and rice) from the central pool to over 20 states. During the lockdown period from March 24 to May 6, Punjab sent 32.48 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat and rice through 1,114 special foodgrain trains or rakes.
Haryana has sent 439 rakes during the same time period, which accounts for12.46 LMT.
These trains are being run to buffer stocks during the pandemic in other states. This movement has also solved the problem of rice storage in the state, observed Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu.
Total dispatches done by eight agrarian states are 2,528 rakes out of which 1,134 are from Punjab. This means that out of total 70.44 LMT of wheat and rice moved during the lockdown with an eye on food security, 32.48 LMT (44.8 per cent) has been sent from Punjab.
This entire stock sent from the state was procured by the FCI for the central pool and stored in Punjab.
D V Prasad, CMD, FCI, said: “Punjab has dispatched 32.48 LMT of foodgrains during lockdown period which is the maximum done by any state during lockdown period. More dispatches will be done by states in the coming days as well.”
“The state has been applauded for the record dispatches…During lockdown period, 44.8% of the total country’s dispatches have been sent from Punjab. We are at number one in feeding the country. We thank our hard working farmers for this,” said Anandita Mitra, Director, Food and Civil Supplies Department, Punjab while talking to The Indian Express.
Out of its total dispatched foodgrain, Punjab has sent 10.42 LMT of wheat and 22.06 LMT of rice during the lockdown. Haryana dispatched 4.03 LMT of wheat and 8.43 LMT of rice.
As rice has been sent out more than wheat, Punjab Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu expects that by July 2020, 38 LMT rice can be stored in rice godowns of Punjab.
The third state in the list of movement of foodgrain to the grain deficit states is Telangana with 380 rakes of rice and no wheat supply. It has sent out 10.98 LMT of rice. Chhatisgarh is at number 4 with 4.79 LMT of rice supply, followed by Odisha, which dispatched 3.89 LMT of rice.
Among the recipient states, Karnataka has taken the maximum supplies which are 8.5 LMT of wheat and rice. Other top recipient states include Jharkhand, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
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