NATIONAL

Wheat purchase may fall short of goal, but it will surpass 2023

In the coming days, the amount of wheat purchased by government agencies this year is expected to surpass 262 lakh tons from the previous year, although it will probably be much less than projected. As of Saturday, 261 million tons of foodgrain had been purchased, with 70,000–80,000 tonnes arriving each day.

Madhya Pradesh has prolonged the procurement period to May 31. Government purchases there have decreased by over 33% from the previous year.Punjab and Haryana, on the other hand, reported purchases of 124 lakh tonnes and 71.4 lakh tonnes, respectively, more than the previous year.

After consulting with the states, officials from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) expressed confidence that the final purchase amount will surpass the initial estimate of 300-310 lakh tons.

Wheat purchase may fall short of goal, but it will surpass 2023.
“With the present level of procurement and stock, we will have more than enough to satisfy the demand for food security, which calls for feeding 80 crore impoverished people for free via the PM Garib Kalyan Yojna and other welfare programs. If necessary, we will also have enough stock to intervene in the market and control pricing,” a government representative said.

According to what the TOI has learned, government authorities are attempting to determine why there is less procurement in MP. The original goal of 80 lakh tons would not be met by the state.

Even while wheat procurement in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan has increased by more than four times and 2.5 times, respectively, their share of the central pool is just 18 lakh tons. The government had anticipated importing around 50 lakh tons of wheat from Rajasthan, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. According to officials, the UP procurement season would probably be prolonged till June in order to provide more farmers with access to MSP benefits.

Sources said that the government has very little chance of lifting the export ban on wheat this year given the present level of purchases. It is also unclear whether the Center will go back to the pre-May 2022 wheat-to-rice ratio. Following a sharp decrease in foodgrain procurement in 2022 as a result of decreased output and record exports, the government modified the program to allot more rice rather than wheat.

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