New Delhi: Procurement of wheat from farmers by Government agencies has touched an all-time record figure on 16.06.2020, when total procurement for the Central pool reached 382 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) surpassing the earlier record of 381.48 LMT achieved during 2012-13. This has been accomplished during the trying times of Covid-19 pandemic when the whole country was under lockdown.
The commencement of procurement was delayed by a fortnight due to the first lockdown and was kicked off only from 15th April in most of the wheat surplus states as against the standard 1st April. Extraordinary efforts have been made by state governments and all government procuring agencies led by Food Corporation of India (FCI) to ensure that wheat is procured from farmers without any delay and in a safe manner. The number of purchase centers was increased from 14,838 to 21,869 this year by opening procurement centers in all possible locations, in addition to traditional mandis. This has helped to reduce farmers’ footfall in mandis and ensured proper social distancing. Technological solutions were deployed to regulate the daily inflows into mandis through token systems. These measures, along with actions on the ground for regular sanitizing, earmarking of dumping areas for each farmer etc, ensured that none of the food grain procurement centers became Covid-19 hotspot anywhere in the country.
This year Madhya Pradesh became the largest contributor to Central pool with 129 LMT wheat, surpassing Punjab which procured 127 LMT. Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan also made significant contributions to the national procurement of wheat. All over India, 42 Lakh farmers have been benefitted and a total amount of about Rs. 73,500 crore has been paid to them towards Minimum Support Price for wheat. The hefty inflow of food grains into Central pool ensured that FCI is ready to meet any additional requirement of food grains for the people of the country in coming months.
During the same period, 119 Lakh MT paddy was also procured by the government agencies through 13,606 purchase centers. Maximum procurement was done by Telangana which contributed 64 LMT followed by Andhra Pradesh with 31 LMT. State wise procurement of wheat and paddy is as follows-
|Sl. No.||Name of the State||Quantity of wheat procured (in Lakh MTs)|
|Sl. No.||Name of the State||Quantity of Paddy procured (in Lakh MTs)|