Punjab moves to record procurement of wheat

Tuesday, 29 April 2008, 04:03 Hrs
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Chandigarh: The Punjab government has released a payment of over 60 billion ($1.5 billion) to farmers in the state as the wheat procurement this season touched the seven million-tonne mark till Sunday evening.

"The government agencies are ensuring payment to farmers within 48 hours of lifting their wheat. Procurement of wheat in 1,615 procurement centres of Punjab touched the 7 million-tonne mark Sunday," a state government spokesman said here Monday.

The wheat procurement this year - targeted at 8 million tonnes earlier - is likely to cross that figure as Punjab heads for a record wheat production.

Over 97 percent of the procurement has been done by the government agencies for the central wheat pool.

The state government has set aside 111.76 billion for a hassle-free procurement process this season. Of this, 80 billion was placed at the disposal of the state's food and supplies department alone.

Six government agencies - Food Corp of India (FCI) from the central government and five others from the state government - are engaged in the procurement process.

Of the nearly 6.97 million tonnes wheat procured till Sunday evening, 6.81 tonnes have been procured by government agencies and the rest by private millers.

While the Punjab government's Markfed procured nearly 24 percent of the wheat, the FCI procured 10.5 percent.

The spokesman said Sangrur district with 852,363 tonnes of wheat was leading in procurement operations while Ferozepur district with 839,241 tonnes and Patiala district with 763,358 tonnes of procurement ranked second and third respectively.
Source: IANS
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