Wheat procurement by government agencies during the current season has touched 13.49 million tonnes today against 7.7 million tonnes procured in the same period last year and total procurement of 11.12 million tonnes.
Government agencies have procured 7.26 million tonnes of wheat in Punjab and 4.27 million tonnes in Haryana. Other States where substantial procurement has taken place include Madhya Pradesh (0.79 million tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (0.59 million tonnes) and Rajasthan (0.45 million tonnes).
The government is all set to cross its 15 million tonnes target of wheat procurement for buffer stocks by the end of this week itself.
Although the procurement this year began late due to late arrival of crops following rains and hailstorms in some of the growing areas in Punjab and Haryana, agencies have surpassed the total wheat procured from the domestic market last year.
Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar expects this season's wheat procurement could touch 17-19 million tonnes. He has also ruled out the need to import wheat this year.
The government has also increased the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat to Rs1,000 a quintal. However, farmers in Madhya Pradesh are paid Rs 11,000 in view of the state government announcing a higher support price there.
Of the total wheat procured this year, nearly 85 per cent has come from Punjab and Haryana. I
The higher procurement this year comes on the heels of an estimated record production of 76.8 mt against last year's 75.81 mt.
Though the area under wheat this year was lower, a record yield has helped buoy the production.
Last year, the yield was 2.609 tonnes a hectare; the highest yield recorded so far has been 2.778 tonnes during 1999-2000.