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Punjab heading for record-breaking wheat procurement

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IANS Chandigarh
Wheat arrivals across agrarian state Punjab have peaked to 10 lakh tonnes daily and the state is heading for record-breaking wheat procurement of 132 lakh tonnes this season, officials said on Tuesday.
Food and Supplies Department officials also admitted that there was a glut-like situation of wheat in certain grain markets with the arrival of the harvested crops much more than the capacity to lift it.
"Over 60 per cent of the crop has already arrived in the mandis (grain markets). The arrivals have peaked with more than 10 lakh tonnes arriving daily for the past 3-4 days and with the 3-5 per cent anticipated increase in wheat production, the state was heading towards a record breaking purchase of more than 132 lakh tonnes," a spokesperson for the department said.
He said that despite adverse weather conditions and untimely rains in March and April, the department had so far procured 79.66 lakh tonnes of wheat till April 29 and Rs 4,300 crore has been so far released by the Punjab government for payment to the farmers.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday reviewed the wheat procurement operations and directed the Food and Civil Supplies Department to facilitate the farmers and ensure that every single grain is procured within 24 hours of its arrival in the mandis.
He directed officials to ensure that no farmer faces any discomfort as well as to expedite the pace of lifting.
Department officials said that the state-wide capacity to lift wheat was limited to about 5.5 lakh tonnes daily whereas the daily arrivals have been more than 10 lakh tonnes in the past few days.
"Consequently, certain mandis may be experiencing a glut like situation which is inevitable in every mandi and occurs for about 6-7 days every year during the procurement season. The situation is expected to ease out after 3-4 days as procurement reaches its final stages. The delayed and sudden arrival of large quantities of wheat, due to bad weather conditions, has also contributed to the glut," the spokesperson said.
"The state procurement agencies are procuring wheat at a fast pace. This is evident from the fact that despite an inflow of 10.8 lakh tonnes on April 29 (Monday) alone, only 3.6 lakh tonnes remained unsold by the end of the day, which shows that more than 70 per cent of the wheat was purchased on the day of arrival itself," the spokesperson added.
The Punjab government had recently sought relaxation in procurement specifications of wheat from the Union government which has been granted.
--IANS
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First Published: Apr 30 2019 | 7:48 PM IST

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