On-going Wheat procurement rises 30%, nears last year’s total
According to the most recent official data, wheat procurement increased by 29.5 percent to 18.38 million tonnes (mt) as of April 25 from 14.19 mt the previous year due to delayed harvest in northern regions. For the entire season, the procurement target has been set at 34.15 mt.
Nearly 1.9 million farmers have benefited, according to official figures. So far, Haryana has led the way in providing MSP benefits to nearly 8.22 lakh farmers since the procurement season began on April 1, with an expected outflow of ₹39,050 crore at a minimum support price (MSP) of ₹2,125/quintal. However, as many as 5 lakh farmers in Punjab and Haryana have sold their crops at the government-set rate.
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According to official data, mandi prices in Madhya Pradesh have dropped to as low as ₹1,800/quintal and ₹1,850/quintal in Rajasthan. The minimum price in Uttar Pradesh is lower, at ₹2,110/quintal. On the other hand, the maximum mandi rate in MP is reportedly ₹2,665/quintal, ₹2,560/quintal in Rajasthan, and ₹2,250/quintal in Uttar Pradesh.
Punjab increased purchases by 7% to 8.36 mt as of April 25 from 7.84 mt the previous year. This year’s target in Punjab has been set at 13.2 mt. Punjab contributed the most wheat, accounting for more than half of total Central Pool purchases last year, saving the Centre money when exporters and traders paid more than MSP in other states.
Madhya Pradesh procurement is up 79% from 2.58 mt to 4.62 mt, with a target of purchasing 8 mt by June 15. Last year, the Centre was only able to purchase 4.6 million tons from the state, despite a target of 12.9 million tons.
Official data show that Haryana increased procurement by 43% to 5.26 million tonnes from 3.68 million tonnes the previous year, while Uttar Pradesh increased procurement by 7% to 94,633 tonnes on April 25 from 88,158 tonnes the previous year.
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Among other states, the government purchased 38,124 tonnes (up from 737 tonnes the previous year) in Rajasthan and 7,270 tonnes in Chandigarh. Gujarat has yet to purchase any quantity, whereas Bihar has reported a purchase of 184 tonnes. The government intends to purchase 1 million tons from Bihar, 0.5 million tons from Rajasthan, and 0.2 million tons from Gujarat.
‘Maybe higher purchases in MP will offset any shortfall in the combined target of 5.2 mt from UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Gujarat,’ an official source said. Wheat procurement fell to a 15-year low of 18.79 million tons in the 2022-23 season (April-March).