Agri Business

Wheat procurement: Madhya Pradesh catches up with Punjab

T V Jayan New Delhi | Updated on June 10, 2020 Published on June 10, 2020

Purchases up by 75% than last year

A bumper production and Covid-19 pandemic have forced Madhya Pradesh government to procure more wheat from farmers, helping the State to to catch up with top-ranking Punjab in terms of government procurement this year.

“We have procured 12.8 million tonnes (mt) of wheat so far from farmers. The procurement is in the last leg,” said a senior official of MP Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection. The procurement this year was nearly 74 per cent more as compared to 7.37 mt last year.

The increase in output and more number of farmers registering for selling the grain at procurement centres led to the increase in procurement, said the MP government official. The MP government had earlier set a target of procuring 9.5 mt from farmers.

With this, Madhya Pradesh, for the first time, will emerge as the second highest State in terms of government procurement of wheat next only to Punjab. Per official figures available on the Food Corporation of India (FCI) website on Monday, the total procurement of wheat from MP was 12.67 mt as compared to 12.71 mt from Punjab. Haryana, which normally comes second, has been able to procure only 7.4 mt so far. FCI and State agencies carrying out procurement have procured 37.2 mt till Monday.

However, there were media reports that a sizeable quantity of procured grains stored in the open was damaged in the widespread rains brought by the cyclone Nisarga last week. The government sources, on the other hand, claimed that 96 per cent of wheat procured from farmers was stored properly, away from the vagaries of weather.

Record output, too

In yet another feat, the State may have also climbed to the second spot in wheat output in the country this year, toppling Punjab. Per the third advance crop estimates, total wheat production in MP is projected to be 18.6 mt, which is 0.4 mt more than Punjab. Uttar Pradesh — with an estimated production of close to 32 mt —is at the top. “The wheat production in MP is expected to be 1.25 mt more than last year. The output has been increasing over the last few years because of availability of better varieties to farmers,” said SV Sai Prasad, Acting Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s Indore Research Station.

Durum wheat

What is particularly impressive about the State is the fact that it has helped India achieve self-sufficiency in durum wheat, which is normally used for making daliya, pasta and vermicelli, he said. Till very recently, India used to import these food materials. “Today, 1.2 million hectares in MP is cultivating Indian durum wheat varieties,” Prasad said.

According to him, there are 12 to 13 food processing companies that use durum wheat for making different food products have set up shops in Indore as against only a couple in a few years ago.

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Published on June 10, 2020
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