Nearly 25.2 million metric tonnes (MT) of wheat procurement has been done till May 9, 2023, during the ongoing Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2023-24. This figure is 7.5 million MT higher than the corresponding date during RMS 2022-23, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India informed in a statement on Wednesday.
“The current procurement has a total stock of 18.8 million of wheat during the entire RMS 2022-23. Food Corporation of India (FCI) along with other state agencies are engaged in the procurement operations and the procurement is continuing in all the procuring states across the country,” the ministry said.
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“FCI and state procurement agencies have so far procured wheat from about 2 million farmers with payment of more than Rs. 47,000 crores at MSP (Minimum Support Price), directly credited to their bank accounts. More farmers are yet to be benefitted since the procurement is continuing; and on a daily average, more than 2 lakh MT of wheat is still being procured. Major contribution in the procurement has come from three wheat procuring states of Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh with procurement of 11.86 million tonnes, 6.21 million tonnes and 6.65 million tonnes respectively,” the ministry further informed.
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 Government of India. This has been granted in view of untimely rains leading to lustre loss. This will reduce the hardship of farmers and check any distress sale.
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The Government of India has also allowed all the states to open procurement centres at villages and panchayat levels and to carry out the procurement through cooperative societies, gram panchayats and arhatias also, in addition to already existing designated procurement centres, for better outreach.
“The rice procurement is also progressing smoothly. A quantity of 36.6 million tonnes of rice has been procured till May 9, 2023 during Kharif Marketing Season 2022-23 with another 14 million tonnes yet to be procured. Further, a quantity of 10.6 million tonnes rice has been estimated to be procured during the Rabi crops of KMS 2022-23,” the ministry further said.
According to the statement, the combined stock position of wheat and rice in the Central pool has reached 58 million tonnes (wheat 31 million tonnes and rice 27 million tonnes) which put the country in a comfortable position to meet its requirements for foodgrains. With the ongoing procurement of wheat and rice, the foodgrain stock levels are on the rise in government granaries ensuring food security for the entire nation.