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Unseasonal rains: Punjab, Madhya Pradesh offer succor to affected farmers

FCI stops wheat sale through open market operations as procurement draws near


Agencies New Delhi

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Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have extended relief to farmers whose crops have been destroyed in unseasonal rains which lashed the region in the last few weeks. 

In Punjab, the government increased the amount of compensation that farmers will get for the crop loss, which some say could lead to a 10-15 per cent drop in wheat yields.

In Madhya Pradesh, the state government has decided to postpone the official procurement in the districts of Indore, Ujjain, Bhopal and Narmadapuram by two days from March 28 to March 31 to enable farmers to dry their wheat and claim the full MSP.

Meanwhile, in Punjab, reports said that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has raised the compensation for crop loss between 75-100 per cent by 25 per cent to Rs 15000 per acre. 

For losses in between 33-75 per cent, compensation of Rs 6,750 will be given as against the previous amount of Rs 5,400 per acre.

Chief minister Mann also announced a special giradwari (field inspection and survey) to accurately assess the damage which has impacted as many as 12 districts in the state.

In Delhi, state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) discontinued the wheat sale at subsidized rates via e-auction to bulk consumers, institutions and state governments for now as procurement of the fresh crop begins next month.

Under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS), the FCI has sold 3.3 million tonnes of wheat till March 15 through e-auction, out of which, buyers have lifted 3.1 million tonnes of the grain so far. They have to lift the balance quantity by March 31.

“The last e-auction of wheat to bulk consumers was undertaken on March 15. The auction has been stopped for now as the procurement of the fresh crop will pick up in the coming days," FCI Managing Director Ashok K Meena told PTI.

Sale of wheat to institutions like Nafed and state governments under the OMSS has also been stopped. The wheat auction will resume only if there is a need to intervene in the market, he added.

In Punjab, Chief Minister Mann had toured rain-affected fields in Moga, Muktsar, Bathinda and Patiala districts of the state, while a team from the Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research also visited the affected areas.

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First Published: Mar 27 2023 | 7:41 PM IST

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