Wheat Procurement To Slide By More Than Half As Exports Rise: Food Secretary

The government has said that its wheat procurement may come down significantly.

New Delhi:

The government’s wheat procurement is set to decline by more than half to 19.5 million tonnes in the current rabi marketing year amid higher exports and a possible fall in production, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Wednesday, adding that there would be no concerns for the meeting. . Domestic Demand Under Public Distribution System (PDS)

The secretary also ruled out any restriction on export of wheat as farmers were getting more than the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Pandey said, “We do not see any case for any control on exports. Wheat exports are on and in fact the government is facilitating traders.”

New export markets like Egypt, Turkey and some EU countries are opening up for Indian wheat. He said that agri-export promotion body APEDA is facilitating the shipment.

Mr. Pandey said private traders have contracted for export of 40 lakh tonnes for the current quarter, and 10 lakh tonnes have already been shipped.

He said Indian traders have a window for exports till June, when the wheat crop will arrive from Argentina, which will increase global availability and reduce pressure on India.

Wheat exports stood at a record 7 million tonnes in the financial year 2021-22.

Amid increasing demand for wheat for export, the Secretary said that farmers are selling their produce to private players at a higher rate than the MSP. This has resulted in less procurement by government agencies.

He said the fall in government procurement “goes in favor of farmers” as they are exceeding the MSP offered by government agencies.

However, regarding the overall foodgrain management position, the secretary said, “We are still in a surplus position. The government’s wheat procurement has come down. But the availability and procurement of rice has been made to meet the demand under the National Food Security Act.” enough for.” ,

Mr Pandey further said that the government’s wheat procurement has reached 17.5 million tonnes so far, and the total procurement is likely to reach 19.5 million tonnes in the 2022-23 marketing year, which is much lower than the previous year.

He said that another 20 lakh tonnes of wheat is expected to be procured from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Earlier, the government had set a wheat procurement target of 44.4 million tonnes for the 2022-23 marketing year, as against 433.44 lakh tonnes in the previous marketing year.

Rabi marketing season runs from April to March but bulk procurement ends by June.

Mr. Pandey attributed the fall in wheat procurement to several factors, including higher market price of wheat in some states as compared to MSP, more price hike with farmers and traders and lower than expected production in some states. Includes stock.

The Agriculture Ministry has slashed wheat production forecast by 5.7 per cent to 105 million tonnes in the 2021-22 crop year ending June, from the earlier estimate of 111.32 million tonnes, as crop productivity hit due to early onset happened. of summer, he said.

India’s wheat production stood at 109.59 million tonnes in the 2020-21 crop year (July-June).

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