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Govt's Wheat Procurement Drops by 18% at 41 Lakh Tonne; Mandi Arrivals Show Improvement

According to a top FCI official, the government has purchased 41 lakh tonne wheat at the minimum support price directly from farmers so far in the current 2023-24 marketing year (April-March).

Shivam Dwivedi
Govt's Wheat Procurement Drops by 18% at 41 Lakh Tonne; Mandi Arrivals Show Improvement
Govt's Wheat Procurement Drops by 18% at 41 Lakh Tonne; Mandi Arrivals Show Improvement

According to Food Corporation of India (FCI) Chairman and Managing Director Ashok K Meena, procurement has been reduced due to harvesting delays and decreased arrivals in mandis, particularly in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, as a result of the recent unseasonal rains.

Untimely rains had caused crop damage in some wheat-growing areas, lowering grain quality in a few places. However, in the interest of farmers, the government has relaxed wheat purchase rules in five states: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan, he said.

"Wheat procurement has reached 41 lakh tonne as of April 16 of this marketing year, slightly lower than 50 lakh tonne in the same period last year," Meena said. He noted that government purchase will increase in the coming days as wheat arrivals improve in Punjab and Haryana mandis.

FCI is the national nodal organization in charge of procuring wheat at the minimum support price in collaboration with state agencies. The procurement is done not only to preserve farmers' interests, but also to maintain buffer stock for various welfare initiatives.

The government has set a procurement target of 34.2 million tonnes for the 2023-24 marketing year, up from 19 million tonnes in 2022-23. Wheat procurement fell last year due to a drop in domestic wheat production caused by a heatwave. 

However, wheat production is expected to be a record 112.18 million tonne this year, and the administration is confident of meeting this objective despite the impact of recent untimely rains.

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