New Delhi: Punjab and Haryana are set to surpass their wheat procurement targets of 130 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) and 80 LMT respectively in the ongoing season.
As of 9 May, Punjab has procured 128.66 LMT of wheat. On the same day last year, it had acquired 113.39 LMT. Haryana has so far secured 80.76 LMT of wheat as against 57.61 LMT on the same day last year.
The two major wheat-producing states are expected to procure large amounts of the crop, above their estimated target, as they still have many days before the open-ended procurement operations end.
The wheat procurement season is scheduled to carry on until 15 May in Punjab and 25 May in Haryana.
Union Food and Public Distribution Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey told ThePrint that even Madhya Pradesh will match this feat.
“The country is set to witness record high wheat procurement for the central pool this year as these major wheat-producing states have surpassed their wheat procurement targets way before the closing of procurement operations,” Pandey said.
“Apart from these two states, another major wheat-producing state and leader of last year, Madhya Pradesh, which has so far procured around 99 LMT of wheat will also accomplish its target of 135 LMT,” he added. “MP’s procurement season will go on until 15 June.”
Overall wheat procurement has touched 338 LMT
According to data provided by the secretary, overall wheat procurement in the ongoing rabi season (2021-22) has touched 338 LMT, against the 248 LMT of the previous year — a rise of about 36 per cent.
Punjab has also surpassed the records of wheat procurement for the central pool for the last six years. Its current procurement of 128.66 LMT is already higher than the record of 106.56 LMT, 117.14 LMT, 127.06 LMT, 129.33 LMT, 127.26 LMT in the 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 years respectively.
Pandey said farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been paid Rs 21,588 crore and Rs 11,784 crore respectively in the ongoing wheat procurement season. The total fund transfer for the season, across the country, stands at Rs 49,965 crore.
Moreover, 34.07 lakh farmers across the country have benefited from the ongoing wheat procurement process undertaken through 19,030 purchase centres, the secretary said.
(Edited by Arun Prashanth)