1. Agriculture World

Government procures 78,392 tonnes of wheat in the first two weeks of new procurement season

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Wheat Production

In the first fortnight of the new procurement season, which began March 15, 2021, the government procured 78,392 tonnes of wheat. Just Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh have begun their procurement. As it begins in Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on April 1, it is expected to pick up steam. Due to an increase in Covid-19 cases in Punjab, the procurement has been postponed until April 10. Due to the pandemic last year, Punjab also had to postpone procurement for ten days.

“We have set a goal of procuring 42.73 million tonnes of wheat this year, with Madhya Pradesh contributing the most (13.5 million tonnes), Punjab (13 million tonnes), Haryana (8 million tonnes), and Uttar Pradesh (8 million tonnes) (5.5 million tonnes). We bought million tonnes last year, which benefited 4.33 million farmers,” a food ministry official said.

He mentioned that the wheat crop is in good condition on the ground, with 31.34 percent of the crop harvested thus far. With procurement, the harvesting process will start up in a few days. Meanwhile, it is unclear if Punjabi farmers would be paid directly into their bank accounts or via arthiyas, as is the current practice.

Piyush Goyal, the Union Food Minister, has written to Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, requesting that, like all other major states, the direct and online payment system for farmers be implemented during the upcoming rabi wheat procurement season.

Amarinder Singh, the Punjab chief minister, said he had written letters to the prime minister, the home minister, and the food minister, requesting a one-year delay in the implementation of direct benefit transfers.

“It is unnecessary to adjust the framework. In Punjab, Arthiyas and farmers have a friendly relationship. About half of all farmers lease their land. So, under the DBT, how can those who till the land get their money because the money will be directly transferred to land owners?” Singh is said to have argued in favor of money being routed through arthiyas.

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