CHANDIGARH: Highest wheat procurement in the last five-years in cereal bowl states of Punjab and Haryana this marketing season is set to replenish depleting stocks of Food Corporation of India. The enhanced in the procurement had allayed speculation of drop in output due to delay caused in sowing post demonetization. The high quality of wheat this season promises better shelf life of the grain that would be suitable for human consumption for the next couple of years, says officials of Food Corporation of India.
Punjab is likely to surpass 115 lakh tonnes of wheat compared to the last season's procurement figure of 104.44 lakh tonnes. In Haryana the state government is targeting 75 lakh tonnes of the grain compared to 67.78 lakh tonne procured in 15-16 Rabi season. Till may 3rd the procurement is recoded at 51.7 lakh tonnes in Madhya Pradesh and 9.78 lakh tonnes in Uttar Pradesh. The total wheat procurement stood at 250 lakh tonnes for far in the country.
Already, the procurement has surpassed 110 lakh tonnes in Punjab and 71 lakh tonnes in Haryana in the current marketing season. This season the centre government had fixed minimum support price of Rs 1,625 per quintal of wheat for the current season.
"The wheat procurement is likely to surpass 115 lakh tonnes in Punjab as arrival is still on in some Northern districts," general manager, FCI, (Punjab region) Rahul Kumar told ET. In Punjab the wheat procurement has surpassed figure of 110 lakh tonnes and the arrival is expected to continue in the coming weeks, he said.
In Haryana more than 71 lakh tonne of wheat has arrived in mandis compared to the total procurement of 67.5 lakh tonnes in the previous marketing season. Out of the total arrived wheat, the five-government procuring agencies have purchased 71.28 lakh metric tonnes and traders have purchased more than 6,012 metric tonnes of wheat at Minimum Support Price.
This year there have been negligible issues concerning quality of grain during the procurement unlike in past where such matters took political overture and usually led to compromise of set quality standards. "The quality of grain this season is quite high compared to recent years due to favourable weather," officials in Punjab and Haryana maintained.
Unlike in past, this year issues related to higher moisture content or pest attack have not hurtled the government procurement. "There are negligent issues concerning quality during the procurement, officials in FCI maintained.
"Better quality means that the grains could be easily stored for three-years and even up to five years for human consumption," as senior official of FCI said. It would lead to low infestation, higher shelf life and more bulk of stock in storage, he added.