Rabi wheat procurement crosses 5.7 million tonnes

Procurement of wheat by government agencies has picked up, especially in the five major wheat growing states. Official figures put the current level of procurement at around 5.75 million tonnes.

As per the data received from the department of food and public distribution, 5.75 million tonnes of wheat has been procured by government agencies so far during the current rabi marketing season, an official release said.

This represents an increase of 1.59 million tonnes over the procurement as on 12 April last year, the release noted.

With 2.83 million tonnes procured so far, Haryana has emerged the largest contributor to the government's food stock, followed by Punjab with 1.62 million tonnes, Madhya Pradesh with 1.23 million tonnes, Rajasthan with 53,700 tonnes and Uttar Pradesh with 19,000 tonnes.

Haryana had made fool-proof arrangements for procuring wheat from 1 April, according to the state chief minister Bhoopinder Singh Hooda.

India achieved record production and procurement of wheat in the year 2009, but the production of kharif rice in the year 2009 declined due to delayed and deficient rainfall. However, the central pool has enough rice stocks with record procurement in kkharif marketing season 2007-08 and 2008-09.

The central pool is estimated to add an estimated 26 million tonnes in khariff marketing season 2009-10. This should be enough to meet the full requirements of the public distribution system as well as  for maintaining buffer stocks.

The government has decided to create a strategic reserve of 50 lakh tonnes of food grains out of the domestic procurement, in addition to the buffer stock already held by FCI.