Punjab’s wheat contribution to central pool has declined by 16.89 lakh tonne to 99.52 lakh tonne this year. The figure was 116.41 last year.
The latest data has been revealed by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) which has calculated the final figure for the season which has almost come to an end.
Experts said the decline was due to freak weather that resulted in heavy rainfall, high velocity winds and hailstorm, causing widespread damage to the crop.
Due to the same reason, the state also could not achieve the targeted procurement figure of 120 lakh tonne. The procurement target was revised from 125 lakh tonne in March by the FCI, said Dr Mohinder Singh Sidhu, a senior economist from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).
“In the wake of unfavourable weather conditions, the procurement target was lowered by the FCI, but as rains continued and more damage was reported, it became difficult for the government to achieve the target. Still, the state contribution to the central pool is highest as compared to other wheat-producing states”, he said.
“In 2013-14, Punjab’s wheat production was 17.62 million tonne (MT) and it is estimated to be 15.5 MT in 2014-15,. On the other hand, the country’s buffer stock for both wheat and rice is sufficient to feed its population which stands as 61.8 MT,” he said.
Haryana’s contribution to the central pool increased by 2.61 lakh tonne this year. The state contributed 64.95 lakh tonne despite reeling under similar weather conditions. Dr. Manjeet Singh Kang, former PAU vice chancellor said several farmers from neighbouring states had come forward to sell their wheat that was accepted by the FCI and other agencies. “It helped Haryana to increase its central pool share,” he said.