Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking relaxation in the specifications for wheat procurement in the current season in view of the crop losses suffered by farmers due to unseasonal rains.
In a letter to the Prime Minister on Monday, the Chief Minister has also asked him to direct the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution to depute a team of experts to visit Punjab to assess the loss in quality of wheat due to the rains so that suitable revised specifications could be laid down.
He urged the Prime Minister to order appropriate relaxation in specifications without any value cut, which would compound the problems of farmers who have already suffered significant crop losses due to the rains and winds that lashed the state from April 16 to 18.
The rain and storm came when the standing wheat crop was ready to be harvested.
"Such rains at the time of maturation of wheat crop had caused damage to the standing crop and also affected the quality of the wheat grains because of water-logging, leading to loss of lustre/ blackened grains," Amarinder Singh pointed out.
He said that frequent rains and slightly lower temperatures in the state in the month of March have already delayed the process of harvesting, because of which the arrival of wheat in mandis (grain markets) was delayed and commenced only from April 11.
"Approximately 3 lakh tonne of wheat arrival has been reported in the mandis so far, which is significantly lower than arrivals in the past," Amarinder said.
Although the arrival of wheat is likely to increase in the coming days, the field officers have reported that the quality of wheat arriving in the mandis of the state does not fall into FAQ (Fair Average Quality) specification, the Chief Minister pointed out.
"Therefore, prescribed uniform specifications of wheat with regard to damaged, slightly damaged, shrivelled and broken grains, lustre and moisture content would require relaxation by the government of India," he said.
The Chief Minister urged Modi to immediately resolve the issue to ensure hassle-free procurement of wheat in the larger interest of the farming community.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)