New Delhi: Wheat procurement in the country has been tardy at 71lakh tonne as against 84.24 lakh tonne during the same period of 2006 but state agency Food Corporation of India (FCI) has exuded optimism of high purchases for ration shops due to the extended buying season till the end of May.
“We are still hopeful of getting near the procurement target of 151 lakh tonne of wheat as the market arrival of the foodgrain is slow and will continue till the end of next month, ensuring larger purchases by the government,” an FCI official said.
Procurement by FCI has touched 71.09 lakh tonne as on 25 Aprill against the arrival of 89.8 lakh tonne in the market. This is compared to procurement of 84.24 tonne against arrival of 108.9 lakh tonne during the same period of 2006.
Giving details of the procurement this year, the official said while 48.6 lakh tonne were bought from Punjab, a total of 21.9 lakh tonne were procured from Haryana. A mere 14,327 tonne was purchased from the largest producer Uttar Pradesh.
Wheat production this year is estimated at 73.7 million tonne as against 69.35 million tonne during 2005-06.
Procurement of the foodgrain slid to 92.26 lakh tonne last year against the target of 162.07 lakh tonne after private players bought wheat at a higher price from farmers.