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Wheat procurement declines by 33% to 25.08 MT in 2013-14 marketing year so far

The procurement of wheat has decline by 33% and stood at 25.08 million tonnes (MT) so far in the 2013-14 marketing year. This decline is mainly due to lower arrival of wheat in the mandies with aggressive buying by private traders. Although, wheat marketing year runs from April to March, the entire procurement exercise generally gets over by June. The nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains - Food Corporation of India (FCI), along with the state agencies had procured 37.35 MT in the year-ago period. The lower procurement than targeted could however be due to the storage problems being faced by the government.

So far in 2013-14, the arrival of wheat in mandies have dropped by 28.23% and stood at 29.16 MT as compared to 40.63 MT in the year-ago period. The lower arrival of wheat can be attributed to aggressive buying by private traders at a higher price than the government's minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,350 per quintal. The farmers are getting better rates from traders in the range of Rs 1,500-1,600 per tonne. During the entire 2012-13 marketing year, FCI and state agencies had procured a record 38.14 MT of grain.

This season the state of Uttar Pradesh has registered the maximum fall in the procurement, where so far government has procured 682,433 tonnes of wheat against 4.8 MT in the corresponding period of previous year. The major wheat growing and procuring states, Punjab and Haryana, too have witnessed dip in procurement. So far, Punjab has procured 10.88 MT of wheat against 12.82 MT while state of Haryana has procured 5.87 MT against 8.66 MT during the last season.

The wheat production is projected to decline to 93.62 MT in 2012-13 crop year as against record 94.88 MT in the previous year, as per the third advance estimate of Agriculture Ministry. The food ministry at the beginning of the marketing year had set a procurement target of 44 MT which was later scaled down to 33 MT.

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