Wheat procurement in full swing in Punjab, Haryana

April 19th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by admin  

Chandigarh, April 19 (IANS) Procurement of wheat by government agencies is in full swing with farmers bringing in their produce to major grain markets in Punjab and Haryana. In Punjab, the six procurement agencies - the Food Corporation of India and five of the Punjab government - have procured just over one-fourth of the total expected target this season.

“Our agencies have procured over 2.77 million metric tonnes of wheat till Friday evening. Though the procurement season started April 1, much of the wheat started arriving in the mandis (grain markets) only in the last one week,” Punjab’s director of food and supplies S.P. Singh told IANS here Saturday.

Private traders have so far lifted 36,133 tonnes of wheat from the grain markets.

Punjab is hopeful of procuring over eight million metric tonnes (MT) this season.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had announced April 7 that wheat procurement target for Punjab and Haryana had been fixed at eight million MT and four million MT respectively.

The minimum support price (MSP) this year for wheat is Rs.1,000 per quintal.

“The procurement process has been smooth this time like last year. The un-seasonal rain did scare most farmers earlier in April but things have not been as bad,” a visibly satisfied farmer Harbans Singh of Chunni village said as he brought his produce to Asia’s biggest grain market at Khanna town, 70 km from here.

The food and supplies director said that the crop was good and despite the un-seasonal rainfall, which damaged standing crops in some areas, the overall picture looked promising.

In neighbouring Haryana, a new record in arrival of wheat in grain markets was set Thursday as 266,000 metric tonnes of produce arrived in a single day.

Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan, who also holds the food and supplies portfolio, said that 1.6 million metric tonnes of wheat had arrived in the 362 mandis of Haryana till Friday.

The arrivals so far are 220,000 MT more than in the corresponding period last year.

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