PTIThe Centre on Wednesday said it has procured a record 418.47 lakh tonnes of wheat so far in the current marketing year that started in April, costing exchequer Rs 82,648 crore. The record procurement of wheat has been achieved amid farmers’ protests at Delhi borders since late November 2020. Farmer unions are demanding a repeal of three new farm laws and a legal guarantee of the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
The Rabi marketing season (RMS) 2021-22 runs from April to March but the bulk of the procurement gets completed by June. “Procurement of Wheat in ongoing RMS 2021-22 is continuing smoothly in the procuring states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir at MSP, as was done in previous seasons,” an official statement said.
Till June 8, the government has purchased 418.47 lakh tonnes of wheat as against 373.22 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year. “About 46 lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing RMS procurement operations with MSP value of Rs 82,648.38 crore,” the statement said.
This year’s procurement has exceeded the previous high of 389.92 lakh tonnes achieved in the full 2020-21 marketing year. State-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) is the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains.
Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the Centre provides 5 kg of wheat and rice per person per month to around 80 crore people at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kg.