CHANDIGARH: A host of factors, including abnormally high temperatures and higher export of wheat due to the Ukraine war, has resulted in the lowest procurement of grain by the Punjab government in 13 years. The state on Tuesday decided to conclude the procurement from mandis following a decline in wheat arrivals.
However, the Centre has ordered fresh sampling of the shrivelled grain, another factor for the low yield this year. Government agencies in Punjab, which is the largest contributor to the Central pool, procured only 94.12 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat until Tuesday, state government data showed.
As per data with the state food supplies department, the total wheat procurement as on May 3 was 99.68 lakh metric tonnes. Of this, government agencies procured 94.12 LMT. Private source procurement soared to 5.56 LMT.
The last the procurement fell below 100 LMT was in 2007 and 2006, when it was 70.99 LMT and 69.07 LMT respectively. At that time too, the international prices soared leading to a global food crisis. In 2010-11, the figures were 102.78 LMT.
State Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Lal Chand Kataruchakk said the mandis would be closed in a phased manner, starting May 5 after a notification. The minister blamed bad weather that caused the 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. Yet Punjab led the nation again in contributing maximum wheat to the Central pool. He said the Central Department of Food and Public Distribution would send another team to lift samples from the mandis to ascertain the extent of problem with shrivelling of grains. Sources said the grain across has shrivelled by 10-20% as per the assessment of five Central teams.
Following a spurt in global wheat prices, most states had witnessed a drastic drop in government purchase of wheat. Yet Punjab led the nation again in contributing the largest quantity of wheat to the Central pool
The last time procurement fell below 100 LMT was in 2007 when it was 70.99 LMT