The government’s wheat procurement dropped by 53% so far in the 2022-23 marketing year as compared to the year-ago period due to aggressive buying by private players for export purposes, reported PTI, quoting officials.
According to the news agency, wheat procurement by government agencies has remained lower in all key growing states of Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The Punjab government’s procurement of wheat fell to 96 lakh tonnes so far, when compared with 132 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.
Similarly, wheat procurement in Haryana declined to 40 lakh tonnes from 84 lakh tonnes, while that of Madhya Pradesh dropped to 42 lakh tonnes from 118 lakh tonnes during the comparable period.
In Uttar Pradesh, wheat procurement fell sharply to 2.64 lakh tonnes in the 2022-23 marketing year against 33 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.
In the case of Rajasthan, procurement was just 1,010 tonnes compared to 16 lakh tonnes in the comparable period, the sources added.
The rabi marketing year runs from April to March but the bulk of procurement ends by June. An all-time high of 433.44 lakh tonnes of wheat was procured in the previous marketing year. However, only 182 lakh tonnes of wheat have been procured by the government so far this year.
On 13 May, the government banned wheat exports to control price rise. It announced some relaxation to its order last week following much criticism.
The government said that wherever wheat consignments have been handed over to Customs for examination and registered into their systems on or before 13 May, such consignments would be allowed for export.
It also allowed a wheat consignment headed for Egypt, which was already under loading at the Kandla port.
Wheat production is estimated to decline to 106.41 million tonnes in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) from a record 109.59 million tonnes in the previous year, as per the third estimate of the agriculture ministry.
With inputs from agencies.