Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday lauded state wheat growers for contributing all time high wheat share into the central pool as wheat purchase from the state reached nearly 120 lakh tonnes on the back of a bumper output.
   
"The resilient farmers of the state (Punjab) have really done proud to the state by once again proving their mettle through contributing record volume of food grains in the
Central pool," Badal said in a statement issued here.
   
In the ongoing crop procurement so far, total wheat arrival has reached 120.27 lakh tonnes and out of which 119.52 lakh tonnes has been bought for the central kitty and 73,000
tonnes for state pool, a FCI official said.
   
The previous all-time record of wheat procurement for the central pool was 109.64 lakh tonnes achieved in 2011-12. Before the start of procurement this season, Punjab had pegged 115 lakh tonnes of wheat procurement.
   
However, private buying has been negligible in the current season as only 1,923 tonnes of crop was bought by private traders so far. Private buying of crop in Punjab has been on sharp decline over the past few years as buyers now prefer to procure crop from other states like Uttar Pradesh because of the price advantage.
   
Amid acute space shortage for grain storage, the record procurement has been possible on the back of bumper wheat production expected in the current season, aided by prolonged cold conditions and absence of any serious attack of crop disease.
   
Punjab has projected wheat output of 156 lakh tonnes with an area of 35.15 lakh hectares for this season, though it is now likely to cross 160 lakh tonnes in view of the heavy arrival of crop in grain markets.
   
"The record production of wheat crop in the state despite odds faced by the farmers due to the exorbitant hike in input costs and vagaries of weather spoke volumes of their sincerity, dedication and commitment to make the country self-reliant in food production," Badal said.

(Agencies)

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