The wheat procurement process had started on April 1 and would continue till June 15 even as 60 per cent of the target has already been achieved.
Earlier, Chief Minister Adityanath had issued strict directives to the state food department to ensure that a sufficient number of procurement centres were set up for the smooth procurement process. In his recent visit to Lucknow, Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had also reviewed the progress of wheat procurement and held a meeting with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials. To a query, he had claimed the temporary shortage of jute sacks for packaging wheat had been sorted out and it would not hamper prospective procurement.
In March 2018, the Adityanath government had approved the wheat purchase policy and announced Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 1,735 per quintal (100 kg), apart from an additional Rs 10 per quintal as transportation charges. The government has established about 5,000 procurement centres.
The previous year, a similar incentive was announced by the state government for encouraging farmers to sell at the procurement centres. The farmers are paid online within 72 hours of the purchase of wheat, while all centres have been linked online for transparency.
So far, wheat has been obtained from over 531,000 farmers, who have been paid Rs 52 billion through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), which is a real-time payment settlement system.
This year, Uttar Pradesh’s wheat production has been pegged at about 35 million tonnes (MT). Bulk of the production finds way to the local market or retained by farmers for private consumption. Higher MSP basically helps farmers get remunerative prices in the open market, apart from purchasing the food grain for distribution under the public distribution system (PDS).