Wheat procurement not on par as Punjab, Haryana lag

Wheat procurement for the 2010-11 marketing year on Monday reached 21.04 million tonnes, down 2.4 per cent over the same period last year.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, had purchased 21.54 million tonnes of wheat in the same period last year.

Wheat procurement, which was higher by 40 per cent over the previous year on 13 April, dipped for the first time on 3 May, and has remained lower than last year's since then.

Meanwhile, the government expects wheat procurement in the 2010-11 marketing year (April-March) to exceed last year's record of 25.30 million tonnes and reach 26.2 million tonnes.

However, barring Madhya Pradesh, procurement from all major contributing states such as Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh has declined.

Wheat procurement by government-run agencies has so far fallen short of the target in Punjab and Haryana, the country's second and third biggest producers of wheat, by 3.9 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively, an official said.