After a slow start, the wheat procurement season has picked up pace across the region, bringing some relief to farmers and officials of procurement agencies.
The release of funds to district headquarters for distributing same to commission agents and farmers later on is the icing on the cake.
With procurement season at its peak, the tardy lifting and shortage of storage space are major concerns for the agencies, which have already procured wheat yield.
As per available information, of total 6.30 lakh metric tonnes (MT) wheat yield arrived so far at purchasing centres, the procurement agencies have procured about 5.36 lakh MT.
However, only 3.78 lakh MT has been lifted, while remaining 1.52 lakh MT purchased stock is still lying in the grain markets and occupying most of space in grain markets.
The poor lifting at many of the grain markets especially in Maur, Talwandi and Rampura blocks have resulted in shortage of space to unload fresh wheat stock.
Indeed, as per procurement norms, it is mandatory for procuring agencies to lift the crop within 72 hours of purchase to avoid any glut like conditions at purchasing centres.
District food and supply controller (DFSC), JS Kahlon said that the lifting process was going smoothly as 76% of procured food grains have been lifted so far across the district.
“The officials and field employees of all procurement agencies have already been directed to speed up lifting process so as to make sufficient arrangements for unloading fresh stock,” Kahlon said.
Meanwhile, another senior official said that the lifting has slowed down since they were facing problems in storing procured wheat due to lack of storage capacity in godowns.
“It is better to keep procured wheat stock in grain markets for some time instead of going for open storage of grains,’’ the official said.
Meanwhile, as per available information, more than Rs 300 crore was distributed among commission agents to clear dues of farmers, who were awaiting for payments since April 1.