Food Corporation of India Achieves Record Wheat Procurement

OV Desk

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has successfully procured 266 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) of wheat during the current Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2024-25, surpassing last year’s figure of 262 LMT and securing the nation’s food grain sufficiency. More than 22 lakh Indian farmers have been benefitted towards purchase of wheat during RMS 2024-25. About Rs. 61 lakh crore have been directly credited to the bank accounts of these farmers immediately on purchase of wheat at Minimum Support Price (MSP).

 The procurement of wheat under RMS normally commences on the 1st of April every year; however, for the convenience of farmers, it was preponed by about a fortnight this year in most of the procuring States. This achievement highlights the Government’s continued commitment to safeguarding farmer’s interests and ensuring food security for all.

As per the provisional figures collected from various wheat-procuring states, the total wheat procurement during RMS 2024-25 stands at 266 LMT, exceeding RMS 2023-24 figure of 262 LMT and the 188 LMT recorded during RMS 2022-2023. The states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have shown significant improvements in their wheat procurement quantities. Uttar Pradesh has recorded a procurement of 9.31 LMT compared to 2.20 LMT last year, while Rajasthan has achieved 12.06 LMT, up from 4.38 LMT in the previous season.

The substantial quantity of wheat procurement has helped FCI to ensure a steady flow of food grains into the Public Distribution System (PDS). This entire procurement process has been pivotal in meeting the annual requirement of approximately 184 LMT of wheat under various welfare schemes, including PMGKAY.

The Government of India declared a Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs. 2275 per quintal for wheat for RMS 2024-25. The MSP acts as a safety net, ensuring that farmers receive a fair price. Furthermore, farmers are free to sell their food grains in the open market, if they find better prices, thereby fostering a competitive market environment. The assurance of MSP and the flexibility to sell in the open market have collectively resulted in better income security for farmers.

In addition to wheat, during the Kharif Marketing Season 2023-24, paddy procurement for the central pool exceeded 775 LMT, benefiting more than one crore farmers by way of disbursement of more than Rs. 1.74 lakh crore to the bank accounts of these farmers towards purchase of their paddy at MSP. These farmers are mostly the marginal farmers spread throughout the country. Current procurement of paddy has increased the central pool rice stock to over 490 LMT, including 160 LMT of rice yet to be received after milling. The annual rice requirement is around 400 LMT, while buffer norms prescribed by the Government of India for 1st of July is 135 LMT. With the current stock level of rice, the country exceeds not only its buffer stock norms but also its entire annual requirement. Besides procurement under the next Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2024-25 is also likely to begin in October 2024.

The substantial procurement of wheat and paddy this season is a testament to the combined efforts of the Government, FCI, State Agencies, Farmers, and other stakeholders, including Aratias (commission agents), handling & transport contractors, and road transport contractors. This achievement also underscores the robustness of FCI’s procurement and storage infrastructure, crucial for maintaining food security in the country. FCI remains committed to its mission of ensuring the availability of food grains across India, supporting the farming community, and achieving the larger goal of national food security.

Source link