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May 24, 2024

Record Wheat Procurement Surpasses 26.2 Million Tonnes: A Boost for Farmers

Wheat procurement for the 2024-25 marketing year has surpassed last year’s impressive total of 26.2 million tonnes, driven primarily by robust contributions from the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, according to the government’s announcement on Friday.

In a detailed statement, the government reported that 26.2 million tonnes of rabi (winter)-sown grain have already been purchased for the central pool, directly benefiting 22.31 lakh farmers. This procurement effort has involved a minimum support price (MSP) outlay of Rs 59,715 crore.

Punjab emerged as the leading state in wheat procurement, contributing a substantial 12.4 million tonnes. Haryana followed with 71.49 lakh tonnes, while Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh contributed 47.78 lakh tonnes, 9.66 lakh tonnes, and 9.07 lakh tonnes, respectively.

Typically, wheat procurement spans from April to March. However, this year, the Centre allowed states to begin purchases earlier based on crop arrivals. Consequently, most states commenced their procurement activities in early March. The government has ambitiously set a wheat procurement target of 300-320 million tonnes for the 2024-25 marketing year.

In parallel, rice procurement is also advancing smoothly. The government has secured 72.8 million tonnes of paddy, equivalent to 48.9 million tonnes of rice, directly from 98.26 lakh farmers. This effort has necessitated an MSP outflow of approximately Rs 1,60,472 crore.

The government highlighted that the combined stock of wheat and rice in the central pool now exceeds 60 million tonnes. This substantial reserve ensures that the country is well-prepared to meet its foodgrain requirements under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and other welfare schemes, as well as for market interventions.

Significant Impact on Farmers

The substantial wheat and rice procurement has had a significant positive impact on the agricultural sector, especially benefiting small and marginal farmers. The timely MSP payments have provided financial stability to farmers, enabling them to reinvest in their agricultural activities. This cycle of reinvestment and procurement is crucial for maintaining the momentum in agricultural production and ensuring food security for the nation.

Strategic Importance of Northern States

The northern states of Punjab and Haryana continue to play a critical role in the country’s grain procurement strategy. Their high productivity and efficient procurement mechanisms have consistently contributed to the central pool, ensuring a stable supply of foodgrains. The government’s support through MSP and timely procurement has bolstered the agricultural economy in these states, making them pivotal to the overall success of the procurement drive.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead, the government’s target of 300-320 million tonnes of wheat procurement for the 2024-25 marketing year sets an ambitious but achievable goal. Continued support and timely interventions will be essential to meet this target. The ongoing procurement of rice and other grains will also be crucial in maintaining a balanced and adequate foodgrain stockpile.

The comprehensive procurement strategy underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring food security and supporting the agricultural sector. As the procurement drive progresses, it will be vital to monitor and address any emerging challenges, ensuring that the benefits of these efforts reach all stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem.

Conclusion

The record-breaking wheat procurement for the 2024-25 marketing year is a testament to the government’s effective strategies and the hard work of farmers across key states. With over 26.2 million tonnes already procured and ambitious targets set for the future, the country is well-positioned to meet its foodgrain needs and support its agricultural community. This achievement not only strengthens food security but also reinforces the vital role of farmers in sustaining the nation’s food supply.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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