Wheat procurement up 2% so far this year
The Government’s wheat procurement has increased by nearly 2 <g data-gr-id="71">per cent</g> to 26.47 million tonnes (mt) so far in 2015-16 marketing year, though quality of bulk of grains is affected due to hailstorms and unseasonal rains. “As on date, different state agencies and Food Corporation of India (FCI) have procured 26.47 mt of wheat, higher than 26.02 mt procured last year on the same date,” a source said.
The arrival of wheat has been lower this season, as on date 30.55 MT has reached mandis across the country, compared to 32.94 mt in the year-ago period. The Centre has fixed the wheat procurement target at 30.05 million tonnes in 2015-16 marketing year (April-March) as against 28 million tonnes bought by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) during last year.
“More than 80 <g data-gr-id="73">per cent</g> of the wheat is procured under relaxed specifications, which is either shriveled or there is loss of luster. While the remaining is of fair average quality,” the source said.
He added that though the grains are shriveled but there has been no loss in their nutrition value.
Aiming to provide relief to farmers affected by the unseasonal heavy rain and hailstorm, last month the Centre had relaxed quality norms for procurement of wheat in the major producing states including Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Chandigarh. All these states together contribute more than 95 <g data-gr-id="61">per cent</g> of the total wheat produced in the country.
The Food Ministry had reduced the value that is cut for shriveled and broken grains by up to 10 <g data-gr-id="72">per cent</g> instead of 6 per cent and procurement of luster lost wheat containing 10 per cent affected
kernels without value cut. The Ministry had also allowed the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to
purchase luster lost grain containing more than 10 <g data-gr-id="62">per cent</g> and up to 50 <g data-gr-id="63">per cent</g> kernels at a value cut of Rs 3.63 per quintal.
Meanwhile, on state-wise basis Punjab continues to be the largest contributor to the food basket of the <g data-gr-id="74">county</g> with 9.85 MT of wheat procured this year. Madhya Pradesh has jumped to second position in wheat procurement with 7.15 MT, replacing Haryana which slipped to third position with 6.75 MT.