A spurt in the arrival of wheat in grain markets of the district after Punjab went to the polls on April 30 has caused a significant delay in the procurement process in the district.
Around 55 per cent of wheat is still to be lifted from these grain markets, officials said. Thousands of wheat bags procured by government agencies are still lying in grain markets here.
Of 4.78 lakh tonnes of wheat procured till Sunday evening, 2.61 lakh tonne was lying in grain markets, thus leaving no space for fresh arrival.
Due to lack of space, farmers and commission agents are worried due to unpredictable weather conditions. Sudden showers created panic among them on Sunday night.
Officials said a sudden arrival of wheat in mandis has delayed the lifting process, adding that the remaining grain will be lifted in two days.
Details gathered from the Mandi Board reveal that around 4.73 lakh metric tonnes of wheat was procured in 78 grain markets of the district during the last procurement season in 2012-13 while 4.78 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has been procured till Monday in this time.
About 4.5 lakh metric tonnes of wheat had arrived in grain markets last year.
Sources in the department said they were not expecting such huge arrival of wheat in markets as a result of which they failed to arrange transport and space for this.
It has been learnt that some procurement agencies faced shortage of gunny bags which had been resolved now. The crop yield also increased significantly due to prolonged winter season this time, officials said.
Generally, the crop yield in one hectares of land is 40 quintals which increased to 50 quintals this season due to wintry weather.
"Even as the grain is supposed to be lifted within 72 hours of procurement, 60 per cent of procured wheat is lying in mandis," an official said.
A slow pace of lifting of the procured grain by the state-run agencies is creating storage problems in many markets.
Slow lifting was due to the fact that procurement by the government agencies started just two weeks ago as the administration was busy with elections.
A farmer said, "The state government failed to arrange timely lifting of wheat. We were failed by both weather and the Badals."
Additional deputy commissioner (development) Pritam Singh said, "A sudden arrival of wheat in grain markets caused problem in lifting. The remaining stock will be lifted soon."