Helped by record production, wheat procurement in the country has grown to a record 32.6 million tonnes (MT) this year so far, even as key growing states of Punjab and Haryana are seeing significant drop in daily arrival of the crop.
Total wheat purchase in this marketing season (April-June) has already surpassed the government's target of 31.8 MT and is expected to grow further as states like Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh still seeing daily crop arrival of up to 1,50,000 tonnes.
Punjab and Haryana, known as food bowls of the country, have contributed record 12.8 mt and 8.6 mt of the grain, respectively, this year.
However, the daily arrival of the crop has dried up to 16,500 tonnes in the two states, according to the data by Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of food grains.
Punjab and Haryana had procured nearly 10.9 MT and 6.92 MT of wheat, respectively, in the previous season. Wheat purchase in Madhya Pradesh stood 6.9 MT this year while that in Uttar Pradesh was at 2.5 MT this year.
FCI and other state agencies had procured about 24.8 MT in the year-ago period. In the entire 2011-12, the procurement stood at 28.33 MT.
Wheat production of India, the world's second-largest producer, is estimated at a record 90.23 MT in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June). The minimum support price of wheat stands at Rs 1,285 per quintal.
The record purchase of wheat, however, has posed storage crisis for the government as it has capacity to store 62.8 MT of food grains but the stocks are expected to swell to 75 MT by end of this month.
To create space for fresh crop, a committee, headed by Rangarajan, last week had submitted a report to the Prime Minister suggesting offloading of 10 MT of wheat to BPL and APL families and three million tonnes via open market sale.
The panel also suggested export of two million tonnes of wheat from the government godowns.