Wheat procurement has risen by 15.2 per cent to 329,500 tonnes in the rabi marketing season so far, even as arrival of the grain from Punjab and Haryana has been delayed due to untimely rain and late harvest.
The purchase of the staple was about 280,000 tonnes in the period under review of the last rabi marketing season, which starts from April, according to the data compiled by the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrain.
"The procurement gains momentum in Punjab and Haryana after the Baishakhi festival usually but untimely rains have delayed the arrival of the grain this time," an FCI official said. Also, harvesting has been delayed due to extended cold conditions this year. But, the situation was likely to improve in the next couple of days, the official said.
Wheat purchase was lower at 28,000 tonnes in Punjab this season so far against about 200,000 tonnes last year.
Haryana procurement was 42 per cent down at 698,000 tonnes this season against 121,800 tonnes in the last year.
Madhya Pradesh, the largest contributing state so far this season, purchased 240,700 tonnes of wheat, 70 per cent higher than the 140,900 tonnes in the same period last season.
In Uttar Pradesh, wheat purchase was 32,000 tonnes, while Rajasthan has contributed 91,000 tonnes of grain to the central pool this season so far.
The procurement has been over three-times higher at 33,155 tonnes in Gujarat this season against 10,543 tonnes last year.
Wheat output in India, the world's second largest producer, is estimated at a record 88.31 million tonnes in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June). The government expects that figure could cross 90 million tonnes.