New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh with a record 84.92 lakh tonnes of wheat collection is giving a tough competition to Haryana-- the traditional food bowl-- for the second spot in the grain procurement this year after Punjab.
    
Punjab with purchase of 128 lakh tonnes remains the top most wheat producing state. However, its share in the country's total collection in percentage terms has come down to 36 percent from 39 percent as contribution from other states, like Haryana and MP, has increased.
    
Haryana has procured 86.52 lakh tonnes of wheat as on June 6, 2012, while Madhya Pradesh has purchased 84.92 lakh tonnes, according to a Food Ministry statement.
    
An FCI official had said on Tuesday that Madhya Pradesh's crop procurement at 84.85 lakh tonnes-level is more than double of the procurement in last two years.
    
The state has saw a sharp rise in wheat purchase this year on the back of record grain output.  A bonus of Rs 100 per quintal also lured farmers to sell their grains to the state government.
    
It also witnessed a 71 percent jump in sourcing wheat from farmers this year compared to last year.
    
The state had purchased 49.64 lakh tonnes of wheat in 2011-12 marketing season (April-June).
    
The overall wheat procurement in the country has shot up in 2012-13 marketing season to 35.6 million tonnes so far against 26.66 million tonnes on the same date last year.
    
Facing problem of plenty, the government has offered the PDS shops to lift grains quota of six months in advance to ease the pressure of storage of wheat, Madhya Pradesh Food Minister Paras Jain said.
    
"The state has a total capacity to store 56 lakh tonnes of grains," he said.
    
Earlier, the farmers in the state had staged protests due to shortage of jute bags to stock the foodgrain. "Now the crisis of jute bags is over and we have surplus stock of it," Jain added.
    
The state government has asked the Centre to buy 10 lakh tonnes of wheat from Madhya Pradesh, he said, adding that the Centre has promised to lift the grain soon.
    
The state saw a record production of wheat this year at 120 lakh tonnes. The state government had a target of procuring 65 lakh tonnes, which has gone up to nearly 85 lakh tonnes by now, he said.

(Agencies)

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