UP Records Low Wheat Procurement For 3rd Consecutive Year

UP Records Low Wheat Procurement For 3rd Consecutive Year

The Indian government is going to miss its wheat procurement target for the third year in a row. The farmers will not sell their bumper crop of wheat to government agencies, even in states where some states offer bonuses over the minimum support price.

Manasi KambleUpdated: Thursday, June 27, 2024, 04:22 PM IST
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For the third year in a row, government agencies have recorded one of the lowest wheat procurements from Uttar Pradesh. This is mostly because farmers would rather sell their produce to businesses that will pay them more than the government-set minimum support price (MSP).

Comparison With Past Years

Though this was significantly higher than the 2.19 LMT of wheat procured in 2023–24 and the 3.16 LMT of wheat purchased in 2022–23, the government agencies combined could only purchase 9.31 lakh metric tons (LMTs) of wheat against the target of 60 LMT in the marketing year 2024–25. This was despite all of the efforts to court farmers.

Possible Reasons

According to those in the know, other factors that consistently deter farmers from selling their produce to government agencies include transportation challenges and expenses, delays in farmer payments, and corruption at government purchase centers.

Procurement Fall Third Time In A Row

Over 13 lakh farmers sold 56.41 LMT of wheat to the state at the MSP in the fiscal year 2021–2022, breaking all previous records. Despite setting up a record 6,488 wheat procurement centers around the state, only 1,80,083 of the 4,19,767 farmers registered with the Department of Food and Civil Supplies showed up to sell their wheat this year, according to government data. All the centers had little work to do, though, if they did not have farmers as clients.

Official Statements

The Commissioner of Food and Civil Supplies, Sourabh Babu, said, “This is true; wheat purchases in the state remain low this year as well for the third year in a row. The primary reason again is the gap between the MSP and the market price.”He said all efforts were made to contact farmers to persuade them to sell their wheat to the government agencies at MSP and a bigger number of procurement centres were also established for the convenience of farmers.“Most farmers preferred to sell their wheat to private agencies that offered them the price as high as ₹2,400 per quintal which was much higher than the MSP fixed at ₹2,275 per quintal,” Sourabh Babu said. “But this is good that farmers got a higher price,” he added.

Wheat Export Worldwide

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine was identified by informed officials as a major cause of the recent increase in wheat prices worldwide. Due to the conflict, wheat exports from two of the biggest producers in the world have decreased and supply chains have been disrupted, driving up prices globally to previously unheard-of levels. “This geopolitical instability has trickled down to the domestic market, creating an environment where farmers are incentivized to seek higher returns outside of government channels,” said an official requesting anonymity.

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