Wheat procurement crosses 22 mn tonnes

June 13th, 2008 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) India’s wheat procurement has touched 22.02 million tonnes, almost double of last year’s 11.13 million tonnes, it was announced Friday. A statement from the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution said this figure was reached June 12.

The procurement by the state-run Food Corp of India (FCI) and other government agencies was 7 million tonnes more than the government’s target of 15 million tonnes.

A major chunk of wheat procurement has been done in Punjab (9.9 million tonnes), Haryana (5.2 million tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (2.8 milion tonnes), Madhya Pradesh (2.3 million tonnes) and Rajasthan (0.9 million tonnes).

The procurement is for ensuring enough wheat for the buffer stock and for the public distribution system (PDS).

In 2007-08, the procurement of wheat totalled only 11.13 million tonnes, against a target of 15 million tonnes.

Officials attributed the higher procurement this year to record wheat production and the increase in minimum support price (MSP) of Rs.1,000 per quintal offered to farmers, up from Rs.750.

“Good wheat crop and adequate price has led to such a record procurement,” said an FCI official, adding that there would not be any problems of storage.

India imported over 1.8 million tonnes of wheat in 2007. In 2006, wheat imports were to the tune of 5.5 million tonnes after procurement level dropped to 9.2 million tonnes.

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