Punjab, Haryana make it a wheat bumper crop season




By IANS,

Chandigarh : Punjab and Haryana, major food grain states of the country, have made this a wheat bumper crop season procuring more than 175 lakh tonnes of wheat so far, officials said here Tuesday.

Despite slow and delayed arrivals for most part of April, both states, which contribute over 70 percent of the total food grain to the national kitty, have crossed the 175.5 lakh tonnes mark of wheat procurement till Tuesday, they said.

While Punjab has accounted for over 108.25 lakh tonnes, Haryana has procured a record 67.2 lakh tonnes.

Punjab's wheat procurement during the entire last season (2010) was just over 102.7 lakh tonnes.

In Punjab, the initial delay in the arrival of wheat, due to erratic weather that delayed the ripening of the crop, has not only been covered up but also surpassed in just three weeks.

Till April 25, the first 25 days after procurement officially started in Punjab April 1, the arrival was just half (nearly 47 lakh tonnes) of the wheat procured (over 90 lakh tonnes) in the same period in 2010.

Over 99.7 percent of wheat has been procured by six government agencies - five of the state government and the central government's Food Corporation of India (FCI).

The agencies have made payments of over Rs.11,500 crore to farmers in the last 45 days in Punjab alone.

While Punjab government has set up 1,734 procurement centres across the state, Ferozepur, Sangrur and Ludhiana districts are leading in procurement.

Haryana has recorded its second highest arrival of wheat. Over 67.2 lakh tonnes of wheat has already arrived in the various grain markets as against total arrival of 63.61 lakh tonnes last year from the state.

The last highest wheat arrival of 69.24 lakh tonnes in the state was recorded in 2009-10.

In Haryana, Sirsa, Fatehabad and Jind districts are leading in wheat procurement.

The Punjab government had recently asked the central government to transport earlier stocks of wheat and rice out of warehouses to enable proper storage of the new stock.

The state government has also been demanding the setting up of modern silos for storing grains instead of the traditional warehouses where stocks are often piled up in the open and are exposed to rain, pilferage and other problems.

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