State to procure 140 lakh tonnes for the Central pool

Chandigarh: Amid all the talk of drought-like conditions in many parts of the country this year, Punjab is targeting a record paddy procurement this season.

The State government would procure 140 lakh tonnes of paddy for the Central pool during current season, senior food and supplies department officials said here on Tuesday.

This is much higher that the 132.17 lakh tonnes procured last year.

“To avoid any inconvenience to the farmers, adequate arrangements for paddy procurement have been completed and 7.5 lakh gunny bags are being arranged for the procurement,” Punjab’s Director of Food and Supplies Dharamjit Singh Grewal said.

Procurement centres

Mr. Grewal said that over 600,000 gunny bags had already arrived.

The procurement season is likely to begin next month.

Five agencies of the Punjab government and the Central government’s Food Corporation of India (FCI) procure paddy annually from over 1,600 procurement centres at grain markets across the State.

The biggest grain market in Asia is located at Khanna town, 60 km from here.

In 2008, the procurement agencies made payments of over Rs.10,000 crore to farmers in just over two months of paddy procurement. IANS