An all-time high procurement of wheat by Uttar Pradesh this year is built upon the inspiration drawn from BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Friday. In fact, BJP president Amit Shah had asked Adityanath last year to take lessons from Chhattisgarh in foodgrain procurement to ensure farmers from the state benefit from the minimum support price mechanism.
“On the issue of our promise to farmers, BJP president Amit Shah suggested that I take a look at paddy procurement mechanism in Chhattisgarh. I sent a team there (in Chhattisgarh) to understand the procurement mechanism before we decided to focus big on procurement from farmers,” Adityanath said at an interaction in the national capital.
He said UP procured about 53 lakh tonnes of wheat early this year, which means it surpassed the previous highest wheat procurement of 50.63 lakh tonnes, achieved in 2012-13.
The state procured 37 lakh tonnes of wheat last year.
After assuming charge in March 2017, Adityanath said, his government ramped up procurement. Procurement of wheat, the first crop after the BJP-led government came in, rose to 37 lakh tonnes, against about 8 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 under the Akhilesh Yadav government, it was informed.
In this context, Adityanath claimed that the state has also set an ambitious target of procuring a minimum of 50 lakh tonnes of paddy this year for the state administration.
“Our drive is to buy directly from the farmers, bypassing middlemen,” Adityanath said.
Adityanath highlighted how the BJP government’s commitment to honour its promise of loan waiver in its manifesto for 2017 Assembly elections. “Banks were avoiding taking my calls for financing our promise of loan waiver. They did not have confidence whether the state will repay their finances. We did it in one go from our budget,” Adityanath said.
He said he got banks to share about 25 per cent of haircut from about Rs 5,500 crore worth of non-performing assets among farm loans, as the rest was borne by the state government. He also said that small and marginal farmers had loans to the tune of about Rs 56,000 crore, but after scrutiny of multiple loans availed by the farmers on the same piece of land, the state zeroed in on Rs 37,000 crore of loans for farm loan waiver.