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Punjab to conclude procurement from May 5 as wheat arrivals decline

New Delhi. In the wake of a “drastic decline” in wheat arrivals across Punjab, the
Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs has decided to
conclude the procurement of the crop in the mandis across the state. Food,
Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister, Lal Chand Kataruchak on
Tuesday said that the closure of mandis in the state shall be done in a phased manner starting from May 5.
The notitcation in this regard would be issued by the Punjab Mandi Board,
he said, as per an official statement here.
The minister thanked farmers, arhtiyas (commission agents), labourers,
transporters and government officials involved in the month-long exercise of
procurement of wheat in the state.

He expressed satisfaction with the pace of purchase and the speedy disbursal
of MSP dues directly into the bank accounts of farmers. This, he said,
happened despite the challenges posed by the inclement weather which had
resulted in shrivelling of grains in most parts of the state.
Following a spurt in global wheat prices, most states had witnessed a drastic
drop in government purchase of wheat, but once again Punjab led the nation
in contributing the largest quantity of wheat into the central pool, he said.
The state has purchased more than 93 lakh tonnes of wheat so far, he added.
There has been a rise in demand for the crop in the international market
because of the Russia-Ukraine war and the purchase of wheat by private
traders has increased.
Speaking about the “delay” in relaxation of norms for shrivelled grains, he said
that the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India
had decided to send a second set of officials to take samples from the mandis
to ascertain the extent of the problem of shrivelled grains.
A target of 132 lakh tonnes of wheat purchase was fixed before the start of the
procurement of the crop from April.
Punjab’s wheat output was expected to be impacted this season because of the
adverse impact of the early onset of the summer season followed by a sudden
rise in temperatures, officials had earlier said.
Wheat growers at many places in the state reported drop in yield and
shrivelled grains due to the early onset of summer and heat waves.
According to the crop cutting experiments carried out by the state agriculture
department recently, there was an average drop of five quintals per hectare in
the wheat yield, PTI