New Delhi: The government has procured 252 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat so far during the ongoing Rabi marketing season (2023-24). According to estimates released by the Department of Food and Consumer Affairs, the current wheat procurement crossed last year’s total procurement of 188 LMT. More than 20 lakh farmers have benefitted from the current season’s procurement, with more than Rs 47,000 crore payment of minimum support price (MSP).
The Food Corporation of India along with other state agencies are engaged in the procurement operations. Official sources said that more farmers are yet to be benefitted since the procurement process is still going on, and on a daily average, more than 2 LMT wheat is still being procured. The major contribution in the procurement has come from three wheat-producing states of Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh with procurement of 118.68 LMT, 62.18 LMT and 66.50 LMT, respectively.
One of the major factors contributing to the progressive procurement this year is the relaxation in quality specifications of wheat being procured, extended by the Centre. This has been granted in view of untimely rains leading to lustre loss and will reduce the hardship of farmers and check any distress sale. Meanwhile, 366 LMT of rice has been procured till May 9 in the Kharif marketing season of 2022-23, with another 140 LMT yet to be procured.
In addition to this, a quantity of 106 LMT rice is estimated to have been procured during the rabi crop of kharif marketing season of 2022-23. The combined stock position of wheat and rice in the central pool has reached 580 LMT (wheat 310 LMT and rice 270 LMT).