Global Economy

Wheat procurement falls short of original target by 57% at 18.7 million tonnes

Wheat procurement by the government is 57.5% less than the original target this season due to higher private trade as well as a dip in harvest.

Food Corporation of India (FCI) has procured 18.7 million tonnes of wheat as on Tuesday, a day before procurement ends for the season, a senior official said.

“The procurement season will end tomorrow,” the official told ET on Tuesday. “However, it will continue for some more time in Uttarakhand, even though there is hardly any wheat coming in in that state.”

The government had set a target of 44 mt of wheat procurement for this season, which it later cut to 19.5 million tonnes on account of extreme heat in March impacting production. The final procurement is likely to be less than the revised target.

This is despite the Centre asking states such as Punjab and Haryana that had early closing dates for wheat procurement to continue procurement.

The government had also relaxed the grain quality norms, known as fair and average quality, allowing the FCI to procure shrivelled and broken grains up to 18% without any cut to minimum support price of Rs 2,015 per quintal, following widespread crop damage due to a severe heatwave in many wheat-growing states.

The government had banned wheat exports barring government-to-government requests last month to check soaring prices and revive procurement after it plunged due to a dip in the harvest.

It also substituted wheat with rice for beneficiaries of PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) in several states. Wheat allocation under the scheme has been reduced to 7.1 million tonnes from 18.2 mt, while rice allocation has been raised to 32.7 mt from 21.6 mt.

The government requires around 32 mt of wheat PMGKAY and the National Food Security Act (NFSA) till April next year.


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