Bhopal: Govt Wheat Procurement Falls Short Of Target By Half

Bhopal: Govt Wheat Procurement Falls Short Of Target By Half

Unseasonal rains, marriage in family, KCC loan repayment also prompted farmers to head to open market

Staff ReporterUpdated: Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 11:15 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The government wheat procurement centers have not been the first choice for farmers as there is not much disparity in the rate offered in the open market. Thus a large number of farmers have opted to sell their produce in open market and mandis, leading to a reduced quantity being directed to the government procurement centers. Against the target of 80 lakh metric ton of wheat, the government procurement centres so far have only managed to purchase 42 lakh metric ton.

The procurement of wheat at government centres will continue till May 20 but achieving the set goal in the remaining five days seems almost impossible. Wheat procurement at government centers had begun on March 15. 

Farmers are of the opinion that by selling wheat in the open market, they are getting the payment instantly, while if they sell their produce at government procurement centers they have to wait for ten or more days to get the payment. As the rates of mandis, open market and government purchasing centers were almost the same hence we opted for an open market to sell our produce , said a farmer.  

Narayan, a farmer from Moodra village of Vidisha district, told Free Press that “ The rates in Mandi were attractive and  almost equal to the price offered at the government purchasing centers. Therefore farmers choose to go to mandi or open market to sell their produce where they get the payment without any delay.” He himself sold 100 quintal wheat at Mandi, he added He further added that as far as the faith of farmers towards government purchasing is concerned then it is fading.

Besides delay in payment, there are cases wherein societies have deducted the money from the sale price of wheat even if there was no Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loan on farmers, he added. It is also learnt that in view of the unseasonal rains, farmers rushed to sell their produce in mandis and in open markets.   Principal secretary (food and civil supplies) Smita Bhardwaj could not be reached for comment.

Late wheat purchasing turned farmers to market’ Rahul Dhoot, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh Pranth Prachar Pramukh, said that the government started purchasing of wheat and this is the reason that large numbers of farmers decided to sell their wheat in the open market. The farmers who have taken the KCC loan need to repay the money by March 31 and if the government purchasing starts by March 20 and payment is settled not before ten days and so the farmer then has to bear the interest on KCC Loan. Therefore farmers sold their wheat in mandi or in the open market.

Moreover, it was also the season of marriages and if there was any marriage at the house then farmers could not wait for a longer period to get the payment from the wheat purchasing societies. This was also one of the major reasons that farmers sold their produce in the open market. Dhoot claimed that according to a rough estimation, 60 % wheat went into the open market.    

Moreover, earlier the government had announced to purchase wheat at Rs 2700 per quintal but later it backtracked and went for purchasing the produce at the rate of Rs 2400 per quintal that includes MSP of Rs 2275 and bonus Rs 125.   

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