Wheat procurement in India by government agencies set to cross 32 million tonnes this year

India’s wheat procurement has risen by 16 per cent to 31.87 million tonnes so far in this marketing year and is all set to cross the government’s target of 32 million tonnes, according to official data. State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies had procured 27.57 million tonnes in the same period of the 2017-18 marketing year (April-March).

Total wheat procurement stood at 30.82 million tonnes in 2017-18 and government had fixed higher target in view of record output. “There is increase in wheat purchase because more procurement centres were set up this year. As a result, more and more farmers are approaching the centres to sell their produce,” a senior FCI official said to media agencies.

As many as 18,326 centres have been established for wheat procurement this year, as against 17,304 centres last year, he said, adding that wheat procurement will surpass the target.

As per the data, wheat buying in Punjab has increased to 12.48 million tonnes so far in the 2018-19, from 11.55 million tonnes in the year-ago period.

Similarly, wheat buying in Haryana has gone up to 8.71 million tonnes from 7.36 million tonnes, while in Uttar Pradesh it has increased to 3.03 million tonnes from 1.6 million tonnes in the said period.

Wheat purchase in Madhya Pradesh has increased marginally to 6.24 million tonnes so far this year as against 6.01 million tonnes in the same period last year.

According to FCI, the procurement operation in Haryana is almost complete and it will get over in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh by month-end. In Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, the procurement will take place till June 15.

Although wheat marketing year runs from April-March, the bulk of procurement is done in first three months. FCI and state agencies undertake purchase at the minimum support price.

As per the second estimate by the government, wheat output is likely to decline by 1.42 per cent to 97.11 million tonnes in the 2017-18 crop year.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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