Breaking all past records, Madhya Pradesh has emerged as the leading state in the country in terms of procurement of wheat for the year 2020.
Madhya Pradesh has emerged the top state in the country in wheat procurement on support price by purchasing over 1.27 crore tonnes from farmers, which accounts for 33 per cent of all wheat procured in the country.
Madhya Pradesh follows a decentralised model of procurement, under which, the state government procures wheat on behalf of the Centre and retains only the quantity required to run the state’s public distribution system (PDS), while the remaining stocks are moved out by the union government.
On June 8, Madhya Pradesh recorded a total procurement of 1,28,69,553 tonnes (128 lakh tonnes) of wheat as against 1,27,67,473 tonnes (127 lakh tonnes) by traditional leader Punjab.
Procurement in Punjab closed on May 31, while, procurement is continuing in four districts of Madhya Pradesh — Indore, Bhopal, Ujjain and Dewas. Haryana with 73.98 lakh tonnes is the third-largest procurer of wheat in the country.
The total wheat procurement in the country has touched 386 lakh tonnes as against an estimate of 440.66 lakh tonnes by the Centre. Madhya Pradesh’s share in the total procurement in the country is 33 per cent. The total procurement in the country in 2019 was 368 lakh tonnes.
Madhya Pradesh’s previous record in the procurement of wheat was in the year 2012- 2013, when the state procured 84.89 lakh tonnes. In 2019, wheat procurement stood at 73.69 lakh tonnes. The present procurement is 74 per cent above last year’s and is still continuing.
Interestingly, Madhya Pradesh commenced wheat procurement only on April 15 as against March 25 in usual years, owing to the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“A total of Rs 20,500 crore has already been paid to 14.22 lakh farmers in the state on the basis of Rs 1,925 per quintal being offered as the MSP this year,” Principal Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies, Sheo Shekhar Shukla, said.
Initially, arrangements were made for the procurement of 100 lakh tonnes, but preparations were then undertaken for an additional 25 lakh tonnes more to be procured. The availability of gunny bags was an issue, however, stocks were procured while the lockdown was in force.
While Punjab has been a leading player in wheat procurement for years, government procurement has become big in Madhya Pradesh only, in the last few years.