Punjab wheat procurement hits all-time high at 10m tonnes

May 6th, 2009 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, May 6 (IANS) Wheat procurement in Punjab has touched an all-time high - higher than the target of 10.05 million tonnes set by the government agencies this year, the chief minister’s office said here Wednesday.
A record 10.06 million tonnes of wheat was procured by Punjab and central government procurement agencies till Tuesday evening, officials said.

The wheat procurement till May 5 last year was around 9.6 million tonnes.

The procurement this year was also faster, as bulk of it was done after April 15 due to the late arrival of harvested wheat because of inclement weather.

“Initially, there were fears that the wheat procurement would be much less this year due to adverse weather but the record procurement has belied that,” a food and supplies official said here.

Five agencies of the Punjab government and the centre’s Food Corporation of India (FCI) have procured over 97 percent (10.03 million tonnes) of the total wheat harvested.

Farmers from whom the wheat was procured have been paid Rs.11,384 crore.

Officials said Ferozepur district topped with 1.29 million tonnes being procured there, followed by Sangrur and Patiala districts, and added that the state government had set up 1,547 procurement centres across Punjab.

“This is the biggest procurement process in the world to be completed in 25 days. The state government has made arrangements to procure (a total of) 11.5 million tonnes in the next few days,” the chief minister’s media advisor said.

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