Wheat procurement from Punjab will miss the target of 132 lakh metric tonne on account of expected lower yield, said officials on Monday.
According to the officials, wheat procurement from the State for the central pool is expected to be between 90-100 lakh metric tonne. A target of 132 lakh metric tonne of wheat purchase was fixed before the start of the procurement of crop from April.
Out of 88.77 lakh MT of total arrival of crop in grain markets, the government agencies procured 83.60 lakh MT of wheat till Sunday, said the officials.
Punjab's wheat output is expected to be lower this season because of the adverse impact of the early onset of the summer season followed by sudden rise in temperatures.
Wheat growers at many places in the State reported drop in yield and shrivelled grains due to the early onset of heat wave.
According to the crop cutting experiments carried out by the State agriculture department recently, there was an average drop of five quintals per hectare in the wheat yield.
The State had witnessed 48.68 quintals per hectare as wheat yield last year. Punjab's overall wheat output last year was around 171 lakh metric tonne.
Farmers' outfits have been demanding a bonus of ₹500 per quintal for the drop in the wheat yield.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday had urged the Centre to relax norms for shrivelled grains in the purchase of wheat from the state without imposing any value cut.
Amid rise in demand for the crop in the international market because of the Russia-Ukraine war, purchase of wheat by private traders here has reached 4.47 lakh MT, which is also the highest in the last eight years.
“Wheat processing units in Punjab are buying crop as their raw material,” said Punjab wheat flour mills association president Naresh Ghai.
The purchase by private traders is expected to cross 5 lakh MT during this season, said traders. According to the traders, big private players are rather preferring to buy wheat from other states including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Punjab, which is known as the food bowl of the country, grows wheat at over 35 lakh hectares of land. Wheat procurement for the central pool from Punjab during the last season stood at 132.26 lakh MT.
The crop purchase from the State was 127.06 lakh MT, 129.33 lakh MT and 127.26 lakh MT in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21, respectively.