The wheat production in UP has been pegged at about 3.5 crore Metric Tonns (MT). Bulk of the production finds way to the local market or retained by farmers for private consumption. Higher MSP basically helps farmers get remunerative prices in the open market, apart from purchasing the food grain for distribution under the public distribution system (PDS).
In March 2018, the Adityanath Government had approved the wheat purchase policy and announced Minimum support Price (MSP) of Rs 1,735 per quintal (100 kg), apart from an additional Rs 10 per quintal as transportation charges. The government has established about 5,000 procurement centers.
UP government official wheat procurement agencies have set a record by clocking 100 percent increase by purchasing 30 Lakh MT of wheat from the farmers at minimum support price as compared to the previous season 2017-18.
Total Wheat procurement in the state had stood at around 16 Lakh MT during the same period in 2017. This year, the Yogi Adityanath government is targeting Wheat procurement of 50 Lakh MT, which corresponds to almost 16 per cent of the country’s wheat procurement target of 3.2 crore set for the current Rabi marketing season.
Last year, the state could procure only 50 per cent of its targeted 80 Lakh MT although it was still 5 times of the net procurement of wheat in 2016 when it had stood at a lowly 8 Lakh MT during the Akhilesh Yadav regime. The wheat procurement process had started on April 1 and would continue till June 15 even as 60 per cent of the target has already been achieved.
Earlier, Chief Minister Adityanath had issued directives to the state food department to ensure that a sufficient number of procurement centers were set up for the smooth procurement of the wheat from the farmers. In his recent visit to Lucknow, Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had also reviewed the progress of wheat procurement and held a meeting with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials. The Union minister had also said that there was temporary shortage of jute sacks for packaging wheat had been sorted out and it would not hamper prospective procurement.
The previous year, a similar incentive was announced by the state government for encouraging farmers to sell their agriculture produce at the procurement centers. The farmers are paid online within 72 hours of the purchase of wheat, while all centers have been linked online for transparency.
So far, wheat has been purchased from over 5, 31 Lakh farmers, who have been paid Rs 5,200 croere through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), which is a real-time payment settlement system.