Wheat procurement starts in Punjab, but no arrivals in markets on Day 1 - Hindustan Times
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Wheat procurement starts in Punjab, but no arrivals in markets on Day 1

Apr 02, 2024 07:48 AM IST

Even as the Punjab food and civil supplies department, Markfed, Punsup, State Warehousing Corporation, Pungrain and the Centre’s Food Corporation of India started procurement of wheat on Monday no produce arrived from the fields in grain markets across the state on Day 1

Chandigarh : Even as the Punjab food and civil supplies department, Markfed, Punsup, State Warehousing Corporation, Pungrain and the Centre’s Food Corporation of India started procurement of wheat on Monday no produce arrived from the fields in grain markets across the state on Day 1.

Even as the Punjab food and civil supplies department, Markfed, Punsup, State Warehousing Corporation, Pungrain and the Centre’s Food Corporation of India started procurement of wheat on Monday no produce arrived from the fields in grain markets across the state on Day 1.
Even as the Punjab food and civil supplies department, Markfed, Punsup, State Warehousing Corporation, Pungrain and the Centre’s Food Corporation of India started procurement of wheat on Monday no produce arrived from the fields in grain markets across the state on Day 1.

Experts say the crop is not fully ripened and it would take some more days before the harvesting packs up pace. The procurement will continue till May 31.

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The state’s agricultural marketing board (Mandi Board) has set up 1,307 mandis and procurement centres across the state for the purchase of wheat. According to a senior Mandi Board official, no arrival was reported in any of the mandis on the first day. The arrivals are expected to pick up from the second week of April in Rupnagar, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Khanna followed by the central Punjab, lower Malwa belt and last the Majha belt.

Officials in the state agriculture department said due to intermittent rain during the past week and dip in temperature, the crop has not matured.

This season, wheat was sown over 35 lakh hectares (86 lakh acres) and the department has predicted a bumper crop with total yield crossing 161 lakh tonnes. Of total yield, 132 lakh tonnes has been estimated as marketable surplus which will come for procurement in the state mandis. The Centre has fixed a target for procurement of 130 lakh tonnes of wheat from Punjab. The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices has fixed a minimum support price (MSP) of wheat at 2,275 per quintal.

“We have made arrangements to procure 132 lakh tonnes and a cash-credit limit of 27,000 crore has been sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of India,” said an official of state food and civil supplies department.

Officials said wheat will start arriving in mandis of seven south Malwa districts --- Faridkot, Moga, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Fazilka, Muktsar and Mansa --- at least after a week due to late sowing and recent rain in the region.

Yield to be 54 quintals per hectare

Moga deputy commissioner Kulwant Singh said the yield of wheat crop is expected to be 54 quintals per hectare this year. “Last year, the yield was recorded at 49 quintals per hectare. Looking at the current weather conditions, there is a possibility that the arrival of wheat in the markets may take up to a week. He said an estimated 6.93 lakh metric tons of wheat is expected to arrive in the total 113 mandis of the district,” he said.

He urged the farmers to bring dry wheat to the markets and said that wheat should not contain more than 12% moisture.

In the Doaba region, wheat will start arriving after April 12-13 in the mandis, said officials.

The food and civil supplies department, which had to make arrangements before the official start of the procurement season on April 1, is on the last leg of finalising transportation and labour tenders.

80% tenders for transportation allotted

“Almost 80% of the tenders pertaining to transportation, lifting and labourers have already been allotted. Negotiations are on for the remaining 10%, which will be cleared at the earliest,” said one of the officials of food and civil supplies department.

Jalandhar’s chief agriculture officer Jaswant Singh Rai said the wheat crop is yet to mature due to unfavourable weather conditions.

“The wheat crop requires high temperature both during day and night for maturing. The moisture content is still high in the standing crop,” Rai said.

Jalandhar district food and supplies controller Narinder Singh said all the arrangements have been made for hassle-free procurement season.

“The purchase of wheat started on April 12 last year. We are expecting crop arrival in grain markets after April 15 this year,” he said.

MeT predicts rain on April 6 and 7

The metrological department’s prediction of rainfall from April 6 to 7 has left the farmers and agriculture officials worried. A short spell of rain can further delay the harvesting process.

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