Buoyant over the various estimates on wheat production and procurement, Ashok Kumar Meena, Chairman & Managing Director, Food Corporation of India while speaking in New Delhi on Friday, said that in view of better than expected wheat production, estimates and government’s assurance to support farmers in view of unexpected rains, FCI has already procured seven lakh metric tonnes of wheat as on date and is well-poised to procure 342 lakh metric tonnes of wheat in this year.
“It is important for all of us – government and the private sector to work together to ensure that prices of wheat and atta remain stable, despite global headwinds. We have the support of higher production estimates too with us,” said Meena.
Echoing the sentiments, Subodh Kumar Singh, Additional Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution, Government of India said that the estimates of both ministry and private sector are signalling higher wheat production this year, despite the impact of unseasonal rains and hailstorms in March-April, 2023.
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They were addressing the 1st Extra Ordinary General Meeting and Board of Directors Meet of Roller Flour Millers’ Federation of India, wherein a survey report on “Wheat Crop & Production Estimates for the Crop Year 2022-23” was also unveiled.
The survey report prepared by AgriWatch on behalf of the federation has predicted wheat production of 102.89 lakh tonnes, reduced from the earlier expected 104.24 lakh tonnes due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms faced by wheat-producing states towards the end of March 2023. The estimates are based on the survey conducted in two phases across nine states (80 districts) – Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Speaking on occasion, Pramod Kumar S, President, Roller Flour Millers’ Federation of India urged the government to lift the ban on wheat products’ export on account of higher estimates and sufficient buffer stock.
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“Though the unexpected rains and hailstorm have played spoilsport in the record production that we were expecting, however higher acreage and yield is expected to create a comfortable situation for the country. Hence, we request the government to consider lifting the ban on wheat atta export, so that we could support the large Indian diaspora that always prefers Indian wheat atta,” he said.
“In order to avoid the past situations wherein the absence of data led to the fluctuation of wheat prices, we have come up with this survey. It will help both the industry and government to plan the future course of action as well as measures to control the prices,” said Navneet Chitlangia, Senior Vice President of the federation who was also present during the press conference.
Established in 1940, the 2500+ members strong pan-India association foresees excellent wheat crop and bumper procurement this year.