Wheat procurement exceeds target for 2018-19

New Delhi: Government agencies have procured over 324 lakh tonnes of wheat across the country so far, surpassing the Central government’s target of 320 lakh tonne set for the 2018-19 Rabi Marketing Season (RMS), according to data released by FCI on Wednesday.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies procured 324.1 lakh tonnes of wheat as on May 16, 2018, the central agency said in its Twitter handle.

With the wheat procurement process still on, the figure could cross 350 lakd tonne-mark, said an FCI official.

The government agencies are buying wheat directly from the farmers at Minimum Support Price (MSP) fixed for the season by the Central government at Rs 1,735 per quintal in the major wheat growing states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttrakhand and Chandigarh.

However, the government agencies could not procure any wheat in Bihar where procurement target was fixed at 2 lakh tonne.

As per the FCI data quoted in Twitter, the agencies have procured 125.49 lakh tonnes of wheat in Punjab, occupying top slot in terms of contribution of wheat to the central pool.

In Haryana, the government agencies have procured 87.36 lakh tonne, while 64.41 lakh tonnes of wheat has been procured in Madhya Pradesh — second-largest wheat grower in the country.

Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest wheat producing state, has bought 32.25 lakh tonne directly from the farmers so far.

The remaining 14.59 lakh tonnes of wheat has been procured in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh.

Wheat production during 2017-18 is estimated at record 98.61 million tonnes — higher 0.10 million tonnes as compared to wheat production of 98.51 million tonne achieved during 2016-17, as per the third advance estimates of crops released by the Centre on Wednesday.

Further, the production of wheat during 2017-18 is higher by 5.28 million tonne than the average wheat production of the last five years, said Union Agriculture Ministry in its statement.