Indian govt procures 154.2 lt of wheat; exceeds 150 lt target


New Delhi : As the government tries to contain surging prices of food grains and other essential items, state-run agencies have mopped up 154.2 lakh tons of wheat from farmers, exceeding this year’s procurement target of 150 lakh tons.

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The government is further hopeful of procuring about 30 lakh tons more wheat for the buffer stock, as the harvesting season is still on.
(One Lakh:100,000)

“We are hopeful that procurement may reach about 180 lakh tons by end of the season (which runs from April 1 to June 15),” Food Corporation of India chairman and managing director Alok Sinha told reporters here on Friday.

FCI, country’s biggest buyer of foodgrains, had started procurement on a positive note with its wheat stock position reaching 55.49 lakh tons as on April 1 compared to the buffer norm of 40 lakh tons.

The total procurement by government agencies in 2007-08 was 111.2 lakh tons.

Lower procurement during last two years had forced the government to import wheat in a large quantity for meeting the buffer stock requirement.

In 2006, India imported 55 lakh tons as procurement was only 92 lakh tons. Last year also, the procurement fell short of target prompting the Centre to import 18 lakh tons.

Wheat production is estimated at 76.78 this year. The government is offering a minimum support price of Rs 1,000 per quintal to farmers.