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UP Blames Wheat Export for Low Supplies

04 July 2013

INDIA - The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has blamed wheat export permit for dismal procurement during the current rabi marketing season.

Business Standard reports that against the target of six million tonnes (mt), the state agencies could procure only 6.82 mt, 11 per cent of the target.

However, the government maintained the public distribution system (PDS) in UP would not suffer owing to low procurement, since the Food Corporation of India (FCI) would supplied the requisite foodgrain from the central pool.

According to the state food and civil supplies principal secretary, Deepak Trivedi, the export permit for 5 mt of wheat resulted in huge open-market procurement by traders, which affected procurement during April-June 2013, the annual period for purchase.

Besides, adverse climatic conditions before the harvest season also affected production. He added there had been no distress sale of wheat due to the proactive steps by the department, including auction at the mandis.

Meanwhile, the farmers were paid nearly Rs 920 crore for procurement by the state.

This year, wheat acreage and production in UP has been pegged at 9.73 million hectare (mh) and 31 mt respectively vis-a-vis wheat production of 31.90 mt over an area of 9.731 mh during 2012.

A major portion of the rabi crop is retained by farmers for personal consumption and only the remaining comes to market for procurement.

Earlier, the wheat production was estimated at over 32.15 mt, which led to the government to fix its target at 6 mt, which was over 40 per cent compared to 2012 target of 4.2 mt.

The wheat minimum support price (MSP) stood at Rs 1,350/quintal this year compared to Rs 1,100/quintal, Rs 1,120/quintal and Rs 1,285/quintal during 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Some neighbouring states had even announced bonus over the MSP to encourage farmers.

Experts lament that the state procurement system suffers from various logistical challenges, including lack of proper storage and weighing mechanism. It is also alleged several procurement centres function only on paper.

TheCropSite News Desk

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