New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday said it has achieved a record procurement of wheat at 398.59 lakh tonnes in the current marketing year that started in April, costing the exchequer Rs 78,721 crore. The record procurement of wheat has been achieved amid farmers' protest at Delhi-borders since late November 2020. Farmer unions are demanding a repeal of three new farm laws and a legal guarantee of the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Procurement of wheat in ongoing RMS (Rabi Marketing Season) 2021-22 is continuing smoothly in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir at MSP, as was done in previous seasons. Till May 26, the food ministry said that a quantity of over 398.59 lakh tonnes of wheat has been procured as against 350.06 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The procurement has reached an all-time high, as it has exceeded previous high of 389.92 lakh tonnes achieved in the entire RMS 2020-21, an official statement said. "About 42.06 lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing RMS procurement operations with MSP value of Rs. 78,721.15 Crore," the statement said. The rabi marketing season 2021-22 runs from April to March but bulk of the procurement gets completed by June.
State-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) is the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains. Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the Centre provides 5 kg of wheat and rice per person per month to around 80 crore people at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kg.