The government on Thursday said that wheat procurement during the 2010-11 marketing year has increased about 1.3 per cent to 191.60 lakh tonnes since purchases began on April 1.

Food Corporation of India (FCI), the government’s nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, had procured 189.14 lakh tonnes of wheat in the corresponding period of the 2009—10 marketing year.

Although the wheat marketing year runs from April—March, bulk of the procurement is done between April and June.

The government expects that wheat procurement in the 2010—11 marketing year will exceed last year’s record of 253.85 lakh tonnes and reach 262 lakh tonnes.

According to government data, contribution of Madhya Pradesh to the central pool has increased over two—fold to 25.47 lakh tonnes this year compared to 11.52 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Punjab has contributed the most to the central pool, at 95.71 lakh tonnes, so far this year, though it is down two per cent from 97.86 lakh tonnes a year ago.

Wheat procurement from Haryana has also decreased marginally by three per cent this year to 60.71 lakh tonnes from 62.96 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period last year.

Meanwhile, purchases from Rajasthan have fallen 53 per cent to 3.43 lakh tonnes this year against 7.26 lakh tonnes in the same period last year.

Wheat procurement from Uttar Pradesh has also decreased by 38 per cent to 5.40 lakh tonnes in the ongoing season against 8.62 lakh tonnes a year ago.

The government procures foodgrains at a fixed minimum support price (MSP) so as to protect farmers from market fluctuations. The MSP for wheat has been decided at Rs. 1,100 per quintal for the 2010--11 marketing year.

India’s wheat production was pegged at 80.28 million tonnes in 2009—10, which is marginally lower than the previous year’s record of 80.68 million tonnes.

Keywords: FCIwheat production