Due to inclement weather in the region since February that caused extensive damage to the wheat crop, Punjab’s share in wheat procured by agencies has dipped by around 20% over the last year. This year, 93.16 lakh tonnes has been procured, a dip of 23.25 lakh tonnes over last year’s 116.4 lakh tonnes.
However, Haryana, which also faced the inclement weather, has managed to maintain its contribution to the central pool at similar levels, contributing 65.08 lakh tonnes against last year’s 64.95 lakh tonnes, figures released by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) show.
Overall, the central pool collection has also dipped 16% from 280.23 million tonnes last year to 234.75 million tonnes. This year, figures till May 11 are available and the broad picture on wheat procurement will remain the same.
Economic experts told HT that had happened as farmers from other wheat producing states also visited Haryana to sell their produce as the procurement process was very smooth and swift in the state.
“Like other wheat producing states, production may have declined in Haryana, but a number of wheat farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan also sell their wheat in Haryana. As FCI and several other agencies were quickly procuring the wheat in Haryana without any hassles, it helped Haryana,” said senior economist Dr Mohinder Singh Sidhu from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).
Former PAU V-C MS Kang added, “It is good that Haryana managed to maintain its share. The credit should go to its efficient procurement process. In Punjab, even as the state government has announced that it will ensure that every drop of wheat is procured, the initial pace of procurement was very slow. In fact, agencies were reluctant to buy wheat.”
Experts also caution that as this year’s wheat crop from the region has faced a lot of rain, hailstorm and logging – the grain procured is of low quality and may not be fit for human consumption, can’t be stored for a long time and is unlikely to pass export norms.
“Due to excess rain and hailstorm, the grain has shriveled, lacks luster and has had a lot of moisture which will not be good for human consumption. It will not even be useful as a buffer stock as it cannot be stored for a long time,” said Dr Narpinder Singh, a professor in the department of food science and technology at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
Procurement of wheat for Rabi
Market Season (RMS) till May 11*
Uttar Pradesh: 7.87
Madhya Pradesh: 59.55
State wise procurement of wheat
for Rabi Market Season (RMS) in lakh tonnes
Uttar Pradesh: 6.28
Madhya Pradesh: 70.94
*in lakh tonnes