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Punjab crosses last year’s wheat procurement figures

The record of the Food Corporation shows that Punjab's contribution to the central pool is the second highest in the last six years till date.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
Updated: May 9, 2021 5:25:15 am
Punjab, wheat procurementA grain market in Ludhiana. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

Punjab on Saturday crossed last year’s figure in wheat crop procurement while the procurement season is still going on. Though wheat arrival has slowed down now but authorities are expecting it to continue in the coming week too. Nearly 40% districts of the state have witnessed less procurement this season till date.

The record of the Food Corporation shows that Punjab’s contribution to the central pool is second highest in the last six year till date.

Till Saturday, Punjab’s procurement for the central pool had crossed the previous year mark of 127.26 lakh metric tonnes by 39,000 metric tonnes and touched 127.65 lakh metric tonnes, while around 53,000 metric tonnes had arrived in various Punjab mandis by evening which will be procured on Sunday.

Punjab has fixed a target of 130 Lakh Metric tonnes (LMT) wheat procurement this year, which is likely to be achieved in few days.

Till date 128.24 LMT has already arrived in mandis out of which 127.65 LMT was purchased by government agencies, and around 6,000 tonnes has been purchased by the private players while 53,000 metric tonnes was lying unsold till Saturday evening.

Out of 22 district 9 districts have witnessed less procurement as compared to last year while 13 districts/ procurement was more.

The districts which had recorded less procurement till date included Amritsar, Barnala, Bathinda, Faridkot, Fazilka, Mansa, Moga, Mukatsar, and Sangrur. In Sangrur, which is the highest contributor in the state, 11.45 lakh tonnes wheat was procured till date against 12.24 lakh tonnes last season. After Sangrur, Mukatsar and Ludhiana are also big contributors where 9.32 lakh tonnes was procured against 9.69 lakh tonnes and 9.16 lakh tonnes were procured against .8.94 lakh tonnes last year, respectively.

This year the weather was more and less favorable throughout the wheat crop season and also it was not bad during the harvesting time too unlike the previous years when strong wind storms, heavy rains had damaged the crop just before the harvesting many a times.

“If Punjab is able to achieve the set target of 130 LMT, then this year’s procurement would be highest in the last six years as per the data available on the website of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which shows that Punjab’s Wheat procurement was 106..56 LMT, 117.14 LMT, 127.06 LMT, 129.33 LMT, 127.26 LMT in 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, respectively,” said a senior officer in Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Office.

Vice-President of Punjab Mandi Board (PMB), Vijay Kalra, said, “Though procurement is still not over but now arrival of wheat has become a bit slow and we are expecting to reach our target,” he said.

Around 73 per cent wheat has been lifted from Mandis till Saturday.

This year, harvesting was started on April 10 and farmers are getting MSP worth Rs 1,975 per quintal directly into their accounts and not through their respective arhtiyas.

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