Bhopal : Madhya Pradesh has reached the first position in the country in procurement of wheat on support price. So far 1 crore 27 lakh 67 thousand 628 metric tonne wheat has been procured in Madhya Pradesh. Punjab ranks second in the country. Thirty-three percent of the total procured wheat by all the states of the country has been procured in Madhya Pradesh. Three crore 86 lakh 54 thousand metric tonnes of wheat have been procured throughout the country. Wheat procurement in Madhya Pradesh has increased by 74 percent as compared last year. Last year 73.69 lakh MT wheat was procured in Madhya Pradesh on support price. Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan gave top priority to the management of wheat procurement. In 75 consecutive meetings conducted by the Chief Minister from March 23, wheat procurement was reviewed daily. Leaving behind the hurdles of Corona lockdown and Nisarga the procurement team, Corona warriors and farmers of Madhya Pradesh have proved to have defeated Corona. Chief Minister Shri Chouhan has congratulated the team of Food and Civil Supplies Department and the farmers of the state for this achievement.
Government of Madhya Pradesh formulated an effective strategy for wheat procurement. Arrangements were made for gunny bags and storage while setting a target of 100 lakh metric tonnes more than the procurement made last year. The procurement had to be started late on April 15 following adverse circumstances due to Corona. The government was aware that more procurement would have to be made from farmers compared to previous year in a short time due to recession and disrupted movement. Government made arrangements for additional gunny bags and storage immediately. Despite the lockdown, additional gunny bags were arranged for 25 Lakh metric tonnes. Due to planned management, there was no shortage of gunny bags even after such a huge purchase beyond the target. While working in lockdown, storage was arranged for additional 10 lakh metric tonnes.
The biggest challenge was to ensure more procurement in short time from more farmers. For this, the number of procurement centres was increased from 3 thousand 545 last year to 4 thousand 529 centres. While adhering to social distancing, the system of sending SMS to farmers was ensured so that only those who received the SMS reached the procurement centre. For the first time, in view of the challenge of completing procurement at the appropriate time, the facility to determine the SMS number at each centre was given to the collectors. At least 75 lakh SMSes were sent to farmers to ensure their awareness about Corona and other related information.
The amount of wheat procurement was directly transferred to the accounts of farmers by the state government in an average of 7 days. So far, an amount of Rs 20 thousand 253 crore has been deposited in the accounts of 14 lakh 19 thousand farmers. To ensure timely payment to the farmers, adequate funds were arranged before the procurement period.
The challenge of storage and transportation of procured wheat was also faced successfully. Out of the total wheat procured, 118 lakh metric tonnes safely which is Almost 95 percent of the quantity purchased have been transported and stored. This time 81 percent of the farmers who were registered came to the procurement centres to sell wheat, which is a record. Last year the turnout of the farmers was 48.36 percent, which has increased to 81 percent this time. This is the highest turn out so far. Another important thing has happened this time. Last year, the percentage of small and marginal farmers who participated in the procurement was only 40 percent, which has increased to 84 percent this time. This makes it clear that small and marginal farmers have benefited more this time by selling wheat on support price. The government has developed a storage capacity of 130 lakh metric tonnes, which is remaining for storage of wheat and its storage will also be ensured very soon. More than 10 thousand trucks have been used in the transportation of wheat. The government has also made arrangements for gunny bags to purchase 135 lakh metric tonnes.