MNCs push Civil Supplies to corner | india | Hindustan Times
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MNCs push Civil Supplies to corner

THE ENTRY of Multinational Companies (MNCs) in foodgrain market seems to have made wheat procurement by State-owned agency on support prize redundant. MP Civil Supplies Corporation, the State PSU, tasked to purchase wheat from farmers for years, has been able to procure barely 20 metric tonne wheat so far this year against a set target of five lakh tonne, indicating sweeping changes in rules of the game ? the purchase of wheat ? in just one year.

india Updated: May 28, 2006 13:59 IST

THE ENTRY of Multinational Companies (MNCs) in foodgrain market seems to have made wheat procurement by State-owned agency on support prize redundant. MP Civil Supplies Corporation, the State PSU, tasked to purchase wheat from farmers for years, has been able to procure barely 20 metric tonne wheat so far this year against a set target of five lakh tonne, indicating sweeping changes in rules of the game — the purchase of wheat — in just one year.

Last year, the corporation had procured 4,69,305 metric tonne wheat from farmers in the State. Farmers of State stand to gain from the wheat bulk purchase after the entry of big private players. For, now they get better and even two times the price offered by the procurement agency.

If market sources are to believed, leading players in agribusiness procured over 5 lakh mt of wheat from the State. Though the corporation and the State Government made elaborate arrangements for wheat procurement, they failed to get any seller at minimum support price (MSP).

Even the increase in MSP from Rs 700 to Rs 750 by the Union Government has failed to work as an incentive. In other words, the step failed to attract even a single seller to the corporation.

The situation is worse than during 1996-97, when the corporation had managed to procure 4448.10 mt tonne wheat following drought-like conditions that year. This year despite a good crop, the State-owned agency bought only 20 mt wheat.

During the procurement season many leading companies like Cargill India, ITC, Hindustan Levers Limited, AgroTech Foods, Australian Wheat Board, Adani Exports etc were in the State to buy as much wheat as possible well above the minimum support price.  

Of 48 districts in the State, the Civil Supplies Corporation managed to procure 20 tonne wheat from Harda only. When contacted, Agriculture Production Commissioner Iqbal Ahmad said it is good to see that the farmers of the State are fetching good price of their produce.

“As the market was favouring farmers, the State Government did not intervene in the wheat purchase carried out by national and multinational private sector companies,” he added. 

“It is nice to see that wheat varieties from the State established its goodwill both in domestic and international market and farmers of the State received good price for their produce.”