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Govt sets conservative target for wheat procurement at 30-32 million tonnes in 2024-25 season

Representational image of a warehouse in Chennai where rice and wheat are stored. The government has fixed a target of wheat procurement in the range of 30-32 million tonnes during the 2024-25 rabi marketing season
| Photo Credit: SRINATH M

The government has fixed a conservative target of wheat procurement in the range of 30-32 million tonnes during the 2024-25 rabi marketing season, according to the food ministry.

The lower target has been fixed despite the Ministry of Agriculture hoping for a record wheat production of 114-115 million tonnes in the 2023-24 crop year (July-June).

The target was fixed after deliberations with state food secretaries in a meeting chaired by Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra in the national capital on Wednesday.

“After deliberations, the estimates for wheat procurement during the ensuing rabi marketing season of 2024-25 were fixed in the range of 30-32 million tonne,” the ministry said in a statement.

Paddy, millets procurement target

Apart from wheat, the ministry has also fixed the target for paddy procurement in terms of rice for rabi season in the range of 9-10 million tonnes.

Besides, the government has set a procurement target of 6,00,000 tonnes for rabi coarse grains /millets (Shri Anna).

In the meeting, the Centre has asked States and Union Territories to focus on procurement of millets for diversification of crops and enhanced nutrition in dietary patterns.

Previous years

In the 2023-24 season, the government procured about 26.2 million tonnes of wheat against the target of 34.15 million tonnes. In 2022-23, wheat procurement was only 18.8 million tonnes against the target of 44.4 million tonnes. The procurement was lower due to fall in production.

Recently, the food secretary had said the farmers’ protest at the Punjab-Haryana borders is unlikely to impact the procurement operations.

Normally, the wheat procurement is carried out from April to March. However, this time, the Centre has decided to allow states to procure depending on the arrival of the crop in the market. In most States, wheat arrivals begin in the first fortnight of March.

Uttar Pradesh and some other wheat growing States have indicated that they will begin procurement from March 1.

Minimum Support Price

Government agencies buy wheat and paddy at a Minimum Support Price (MSP) to add foodgrain stock to the central pool for public distribution under the National Food Security programme and other welfare schemes.

At the beginning of each marketing season, the procurement targets are set by the central government in consultation with states and the Food Corporation of India.

In Wednesday’s meeting, the state governments were also asked to adopt or improve their existing MSP procurement applications in line with the standard and core features of the Centre’s AgriStack portal, for bringing about transparency and efficiency in the procurement system before the start of 2024-25 kharif marketing season.

During the meeting, issues relating to supply chain optimization for transportation of foodgrains from designated depots to Fair Price Shops, improving infrastructure in procurement centres, good milling practices and on-boarding Fair Price Shops on the government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) were also discussed.

In the meeting, the Telangana government said it was able to save Rs 16 crore annually with the adoption of supply chain optimisation, while the UP government shared how linking of e-PoS (electronic point of sale) with electronic weighing scale has effectively ensured supply of foodgrains to the beneficiaries as per their entitled quantity.

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