NEW DELHI: The government's wheat stock is 11 per cent higher than the buffer norm at 227.46 lakh tonne at the beginning of this month, according to the Food Ministry data.
However, the wheat stock in the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) is at a five-year low due to a 57 per cent drop in procurement owing to a fall in production and aggressive buying by private traders for export purposes.
In the case of rice, the stocks are more than double the buffer norm at 283.9 lakh tonne as of October 1.
As per the buffer norm, the government should maintain 205.2 lakh tonnes of wheat and 102.5 lakh tonnes of rice as on October 1.
The buffer stock is maintained to meet the demand under welfare schemes and exigencies. A senior Food Ministry official said the wheat stocks are comfortable now.
In the 2022-23 marketing year (April-May), the government's wheat procurement fell to 187.92 lakh tonne from 433.44 lakh tonne in the previous year, mainly due to aggressive private buying though domestic output declined slightly by 3 per cent.
The sharp drop in procurement forced the government to ban the export of wheat to boost local availability and check the price rise.
Wheat production declined to 106.84 lakh tonnes in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) from 109.59 lakh tonnes in the previous year, as per the agriculture ministry's fourth advance estimate.
The sowing of new wheat crops will pick up in the coming days.