New Delhi/Chandigarh: Wheat procurement has reported a decline of 69 per cent all across the country for the current financial year at 38.38 lakh tonnes as arrivals have yet to be picked up in the major producing states of Punjab and Haryana.

Food Corporation of India (FCI) had procured 123.62 lakh tonnes of the staple foodgrain in the year-ago period, according to the latest FCI data. Punjab and Haryana had contributed 73.53 per cent of the total procurement in the previous year.

Procurement in major producing states of Haryana and Punjab, which generally starts from April 1 and picks up from April 15, had been very low till Sunday because of less arrival of crop in the markets due to delay in harvesting.

Punjab, which had procured the maximum 102 lakh tonnes of wheat last year, has purchased 6.02 lakh tonnes so far as compared to 55.71 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the last year.

Haryana, which was the second largest contributor to the government's kitty in the 2010-11 marketing year (April-March), has procured only 17.61 lakh tonnes till Sunday due to delay in harvesting as against 47.60 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.

According to a report from Chandigarh, wheat procurement in Punjab is 90 per cent down against last rabi marketing season.

The Punjab government has set up 1634 procurement centres and activated its total machinery to ensure smooth procurement of wheat, an official said.

In Madhya Pradesh, wheat procurement has declined to 14.09 lakh tonnes so far against 17.84 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period even though the state government has declared
Rs 100 per quintal more to farmers than the Centre's minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,120 per quintal.

Arrivals of wheat in MP has also declined to 17.47 lakh tonnes so far against 22.48 lakh tonnes in the review period.

In contrast, FCI and other state agencies have bought 1,0843 tonnes of wheat in Gujarat so far against 624 tonnes in the entire 2010-11 marketing year.

 

(Agencies)