Wheat procurement in is set to reach 130 lakh tonne in the state of Punjab, according to food and civil supplies minister Adaish Partap Singh Kairon. The news comes as a boost to the food security plans of the government and also sets the stage for Punjab to make a new record in terms of wheat procurement.
Congratulating the farmers, Mr Kairon said in a press statement that the farmers of the state had also received a phenomenal payment of Rs 16528.96 crore as minimum support price on wheat as compared to Rs 6715 crore paid to them 5 years ago. He also added that the procurement figures and payment had gone up by 62% and 145% over the 2007-08 figures and the food department in the state had also witnessed a threefold increase in revenue during the period.
Apart from this, the payment made to the commission agents in the state also went up from Rs 148.33 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 2022.33 crore according to the latest figures. Mr Kairon also informed that he had held meetings with the Finance Ministry officials about the sanction of additional funds that would help pay the farmers in Punjab on time.
With such massive production in the state, food processors and related industries are also likely to get a new boost. In spite of the economic downturn in the country and the MSME sector struggling to make ends meet, the extraordinary performance of the agricultural sector, especially in Punjab, sets a benchmark for other industries.
Food minister assures support for Haryana
While Punjab celebrates record procurement, concerns arise in neighbouring state of Haryana where the wheat procurement also reached phenomenal highs. Huge stocks of wheat lie with the state and the storage facilities remain inadequate calling for the Centre to take immediate action. Reports indicate that Union Minister of State for consumer affairs, Food and Public Distribution K V Thomas has assured Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda that the Centre will ensure movement of the wheat stocks in Haryana. In a statement made to the press, Mr Thomas said that the grains would not be left to rot. He assured that officers had been sent and he would soon receive an act upon a report by them.
The unprecedented production therefore has been a mixed blessing for the northern agricultural states of the country.