The Centre has purchased 262 lakh tonnes of wheat so far this year at minimum support price (MSP) and paid about Rs 47,000 crore to farmers.
"Wheat procurement during the ongoing Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2023-24 has progressed smoothly. The progressive procurement of wheat in the current season till May 30 is 262 lakh tonnes, which has already surpassed last year's total procurement of 188 lakh tonnes by 74 lakh tonnes," the Food Ministry said in a statement.
About 21.27 lakh farmers have already benefitted from the ongoing wheat procurement operations with a minimum support price outflow of about Rs 47,000 crore, it added.
The Rabi marketing season runs from April to March. However, the bulk of wheat procurement is done between April and June. Wheat is a major rabi (winter-sown) crop.
Major contribution in the procurement has come from three states of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, with procurement of 121.27 lakh tonnes, 70.98 lakh tonnes and 63.17 lakh tonnes, respectively.
The ministry attributed the rise in procurement to relaxation in quality specifications of wheat affected due to untimely rains, the opening of procurement centres at village/panchayat level, carrying out procurement through co-operative societies/ Gram Panchayats/Arhatias etc in addition to designated procurement centres.
On rice procurement, it said that "a quantity of 385 lakh tonnes of rice has been procured till May 30 during the Kharif crop of Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2022-23 with another 110 lakh tonnes yet to be procured. Further, a quantity of 106 lakh tonnes of rice has been estimated to be procured during the Rabi crop of KMS 2022-23".
KMS runs from October-September.
"The combined stock position of wheat and rice in the Central Pool is over 579 lakh tonnes (wheat 312 lakh tonnes and rice 267 lakh tonnes), which has placed the country in a comfortable position to meet its requirements of food grains," the ministry said.
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