Monday, November 29, 1999

Wheat lifting in 2010-11 down 8 pc to 22.48 mn tonnes so far

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New Delhi, June 17 (PTI) Wheat procurement since April is eight per cent down to 22.48 million tonnes compared to the previous year, despite record production. In comparison, wheat procurement stood at 24.36 million tonnes in the corresponding period of 2009-10 marketing year (April-March). A senior government official attributed the decline in procurement to more buying by private traders. "It is a good thing if private traders are buying, as it will mean more availability in the market." Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar last month said the government expects to procure 24.5-25 million tonnes of wheat in the current marketing year against a record 25.4 million tonnes last year. However, the states have set a target for procuring 26.2 million tonnes of wheat. Wheat procurement, the bulk of which is conducted between April and June, is down in all major states, barring Madhya Pradesh. According to Food Corporation of India (FCI) data, Punjab''s contribution of 10.20 million tonnes of wheat to the central pool was the largest by any state this marketing year so far, though this is nearly five per cent less than the 10.71 million tonnes of wheat it purchased during the same period last year. FCI has procured 6.33 million tonnes from Haryana, over eight per cent lower than the 6.91 million tonnes it purchased last year in the corresponding period. Wheat procurement from Madhya Pradesh, on the other hand, has registered over two-fold growth so far this year to 3.53 million tonnes from 1.78 million tonnes a year ago. FCI and other state agencies have procured 1.65 million tonnes of wheat from Uttar Pradesh this year against 3.48 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year. The Centre procures foodgrains at a minimum support price (MSP) to protect farmers from market fluctuations. The MSP for wheat has been fixed at Rs 1,100 per quintal for the 2010-11 marketing year. India''s wheat production was pegged at a record 80.98 million tonnes in 2009-10 crop year as per the third advance estimates floated by the government, which is marginally higher than the output of 80.68 million tonnes in the previous year.

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