Grain gain: Punjab beats MP, regains top wheat producing state tag

Procured over 132 lakh tonnes of the rabi crop against 125.6 lakh tonnes by Madhya Pradesh this year
Grain gain: Punjab beats MP, regains top wheat producing state tag
Grain gain: Punjab beats MP, regains top wheat producing state tag
Updated on May 29, 2021 12:57 AM IST
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Madhya Pradesh will lose the tag of top wheat procurer state in India to Punjab due to lesser procurement this year as compared to 2020, said an official of food and civil supplies department.

Punjab has emerged as the biggest wheat producer state after a year, and it came amid farmers protesting against three central laws at borders of Delhi since November last year.

Madhya Pradesh procured only 125.6 lakh tonnes wheat sown on 49 lakh hectare in 2021 while in 2020, it had procured 129.4 lakh tonnes of the grain sown on 45 lakh hectares, the food and civil supplies department data shows.

MP had pushed Punjab to the second spot for the first time in 2020 with northern state producing 128.5 lakh tonnes of wheat. This year, the MP government set a higher target of wheat procurement after 27% increase in the registration of farmers for selling the rabi crop to the government.

After an increase in registration of farmers, the food and civil supplies department arranged for extra space, gunny bags and transportation to procure over 135 lakh tonnes wheat. But, MP failed to achieve the target, whereas the Punjab government procured over 132 lakh tonnes of against the target of 130 lakh tonnes, officials said.

“Over 16 lakh farmers sold their crop at MSP of 1,925 per quintal. This year, the yielding of crop has been decreased by 10-15% due to extreme weather condition. The average maximum temperature of winter was higher than last year and untimely rainfall led to low yielding of wheat. We were expecting procurement of wheat lesser than 100 lakh tonne but 125 lakh tonne is quite satisfactory for us,” said an official of the MP food and civil supplies department, who is not wished to be named.

MP food and civil supplies corporation principal secretary Faiz Ahmed Kidwai said: “This target of procurement is just to support farmers, if they don’t get any seller in the market.”

The farmers’ associations also admitted to the fact that it happened due to less yield of crop, but with weather, they also blamed the poor quality of seeds and fertilizers for that.

Bhartiya Kisan Union MP president Anil Yadav said: “This year, farmers suffered a loss of 10-15% per hectare due to extreme weather condition and poor quality of seeds and fertilisers. With the decrease in production, procurement of wheat has also dipped. The state government needs to come up with better seeds and fertilizers to compete with Punjab.”

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    She is a senior reporter based at Bhopal. She covers higher education, social issues, youth affairs, woman and child development related issues, sports and business & industries.

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