Heavy wheat procurement in Punjab, farmers get Rs.85 bn

April 24th, 2009 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, April 24 (IANS) The Punjab government has released over Rs.85 billion as payment to farmers for wheat procurement, considered one of the largest such exercise in the world.
“The procurement process is going on quite smoothly. Over 87 lakh tonnes of wheat have been procured so far,” government spokesman Harcharan Bains said here Friday.

This is an increase of over 57 percent over that procured during the corresponding period last year.

“What makes the procurement operation an extraordinary success story is that it has been achieved despite unusually inclement weather conditions during the harvesting season in the state,” Bains said.

Procurement of wheat in Punjab is considered one of the largest exercises of its kind in the world in which over 100 lakh tonnes of the grain is procured within just 25 days.

The procurement at 1,547 centres and grain markets across Punjab officially started April 1, but most farmers started bringing in their stocks only after April 10, food and supplies department officials told IANS.

Most of the procurement was being done by the five agencies of the Punjab government and the centre’s Food Corp of India (FCI). Some procurement has been done by private millers as well.

The highest procurement has been in Ferozepur, Sangrur and Patiala districts.

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