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Wheat acquisition payout estimated at Rs 12,750 crore in Uttar Pradesh

Nonetheless, the global wheat supply chains are fairly stabilised this year, which augurs well for the domestic procurement of the rabi crop in different states, including UP

Wheat crop

A farm worker harvests wheat crop, at a village on the outskirts of Gurugram (PTI Photo)

Virendra Singh Rawat Lucknow

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The Uttar Pradesh government is targeting to procure 6 million tonnes (mt) of wheat in the current rabi marketing season 2023-24. Since the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat has been fixed at Rs 2,125 per quintal (100 kg), the payout to farmers against the targeted purchase is estimated at Rs 12,750 crore.

The state, together with the Food Corporation of India (FCI), will set up 6,000 procurement centres for the purpose, a senior UP agriculture department official said. State agencies will make the bulk of the purchase, he said.

Last year, UP wheat procurement was way below the mark against the target of 6 mt since the open market prices were higher than the MSP owing to a surge in the international wheat prices following the Russia-Ukraine war.

Since Russia and Ukraine are among the leading global wheat producers, the conflict affected their wheat supply chains, causing a scarcity of the commodity and stoking prices.

Last year, the domestic wheat prices went north due to the sudden spurt in the export market, prompting India to ban export of the commodity to cool domestic prices and ensure food security amid global upheavals.

Nonetheless, the global wheat supply chains are fairly stabilised this year, which augurs well for the domestic procurement of the rabi crop in different states, including UP. Barring the 2022-23 wheat procurement season, which was exacerbated by the Ukraine war, the institutional buying of wheat in UP has been robust over the years.

Meanwhile, the Yogi Adityanath government will accord priority to small and marginal farmers producing 60 quintals or less in the new procurement policy, which is effective from April 1 to June 15.

Moreover, the state is likely to exempt farmers from procurement norms to provide succour over damage to the crop during the recent unseasonal spells of rainfall and hailstorms. Damaged wheat is procured at a discount depending upon the ratio of damage, which fetches lower than MSP prices.

Since this is the last rabi season before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party will seek a re-election, the UP government will pull all stops to keep farmers in good humour.

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First Published: Apr 24 2023 | 10:55 PM IST

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