Chandigarh, June 18, 2020-States of Punjab and Haryana made significant contributions to the national procurement of wheat. The procurement of wheat by Government agencies has touched an all-time record figure on 16.06.2020 as total procurement for the Central pool reached 382 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT). This has surpassed the earlier record of 381.48 LMT achieved during 2012-13. Out of this 382 LMT, contributions from the states of Punjab and Haryana stand at 127 LMT and 74 LMT respectively. This has been accomplished during the trying times of Covid-19 pandemic when the whole country was under lockdown.

Measures like increasing number of purchase centers, regulating the daily inflows into mandis through token systems, regular sanitizing, earmarking of dumping areas for each farmer etc., ensured that none of the food grain procurement centers became Covid-19 hotspot anywhere in the country. This year, number of purchase centers was increased from 14,838 to 21,869 by opening procurement centers in all possible locations, in addition to traditional mandis. All over India, 42 Lakh farmers have been benefitted and a total amount of about Rs. 73,500 crore has been paid to them towards Minimum Support Price for wheat. Madhya Pradesh became the largest contributor to Central pool with 129 LMT wheat, surpassing Punjab’s 127 LMT.

The commencement of procurement was delayed by a fortnight due to the first lockdown and was kicked off only from 15th April in most of the wheat surplus states as against the standard 1st April. Extraordinary efforts have been made by state governments and all government procuring agencies led by Food Corporation of India (FCI) to ensure that wheat is procured from farmers without any delay and in a safe manner.