NEW DELHI: The government is likely to relax the norms for procurement of wheat at
Minimum Support Price
), allowing the purchase of the winter crop with more moisture content and lustre loss. There is a high possibility of higher moisture content in the grain due to the recent spell of unseasonal rains.
Sources said the government will soon send teams to key wheat procuring states to assess the situation before taking any decision of relaxing the norms. However, Food Corporation of India (
) chairman and managing director
Ashok K Meena
said “the need for this has not been felt yet”.
He said the government is confident of a record output of 112 million tonnes (MTs) of wheat this year despite the unseasonal rains, though he said the recent rains are “a cause of concern”.
The government relaxes norms to mitigate the hardship of farmers and avoid distress sale of the crops impacted due to natural calamity such as un-seasonal rains, erratic rainfall, cyclone and adverse climatic conditions.
Speaking to reporters, the FCI chief said the procurement of fresh wheat crop at MSP has kick-started, and about 10,727 tonnes was purchased in Madhya Pradesh on Monday and this one day’s purchase at MSP is more than the procurement of wheat in March 2022. He said MSP operations in other key states - Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, stock will start from April 1. “There is a possibility that the arrival of wheat at mandis will be slow initially in areas which received recent rains. Subsequently, the arrival will increase,” he said.
Meena also said the export ban on wheat will continue as long as the country does not feel comfortable with the domestic supplies to meet food security needs. He said the government has estimated procurement of 34.2 MTs of wheat after detailed consultation with states.