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HomeEconomyGovernment Sets Conservative Target for Wheat Procurement at 30-32 Million Tonnes in...

Government Sets Conservative Target for Wheat Procurement at 30-32 Million Tonnes in 2024-25 Season

The government has set a conservative target for wheat procurement during the 2024-25 rabi marketing season, aiming to acquire between 30-32 million tonnes, as per the food ministry’s announcement. This target contrasts with the Ministry of Agriculture’s anticipation of a record wheat production of 114-115 million tonnes in the 2023-24 crop year.

The decision on the wheat procurement target was made following discussions with state food secretaries in a meeting chaired by Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra in the national capital.

In addition to wheat, procurement targets have been established for paddy (in terms of rice) and millets for the rabi season. The target for paddy procurement is set between 9-10 million tonnes, while 600,000 tonnes have been earmarked for rabi coarse grains/millets.

The meeting also emphasized the importance of millet procurement for crop diversification and improved nutrition in dietary patterns.

In previous years, wheat procurement fell short of targets due to factors such as production declines. However, the ongoing farmers’ protest at the Punjab-Haryana borders is not expected to disrupt procurement operations.

This year, procurement will commence depending on the crop’s arrival in the market, with most states planning to begin from the first fortnight of March. Uttar Pradesh and other wheat-growing states aim to start procurement from March 1.

Government agencies purchase wheat and paddy at Minimum Support Prices (MSP) to augment foodgrain stocks for distribution under various welfare schemes. The procurement targets are determined by the central government in consultation with states and the Food Corporation of India at the beginning of each marketing season.

During the meeting, states were urged to enhance transparency and efficiency in the procurement system by adopting or improving their existing MSP procurement applications in alignment with the standard features of the Centre’s AgriStack portal.

Additionally, discussions covered supply chain optimization, infrastructure enhancement in procurement centers, good milling practices, and the integration of Fair Price Shops with the government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

The Telangana government shared how supply chain optimization helped save Rs 16 crore annually, while the Uttar Pradesh government highlighted the effective supply of foodgrains to beneficiaries through the linking of electronic point of sale (e-PoS) with electronic weighing scales.