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Govt buys 266 lakh tonnes of wheat at MSP; Rs 61 lakh crore credited to farmers’ accounts

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New Delhi, July 3:  The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has successfully procured 266 lakh metric tonnes of wheat during the current Rabi marketing season 2024-25, surpassing last year’s figure of 262 lakh metric tonnes to secure the nation’s foodgrain sufficiency, the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution said on Wednesday.

More than 22 lakh Indian farmers have been benefited as Rs 61 lakh crore have been directly credited to their bank accounts on purchase of wheat at the Minimum Support Price (MSP).

The procurement of wheat under MSP normally commences on the 1st of April every year; however, for the convenience of farmers, the date was advanced by about a fortnight this year in most of the states.

This achievement highlights the government’s continued commitment to safeguarding the farmer’s interests and ensuring food security for all, according to the official statement. According to the provisional figures collected from various states, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have shown significant improvements in their wheat procurement quantities.

Uttar Pradesh has recorded a procurement of 9.31 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) compared to 2.20 LMT last year, while Rajasthan has achieved 12.06 LMT, up from 4.38 LMT in the previous season. The substantial quantity of wheat procurement has helped FCI to ensure a steady flow of foodgrains into the Public Distribution System (PDS).

This entire procurement process has been pivotal in meeting the annual requirement of approximately 184 LMT of wheat under various welfare schemes, including PMGKAY, the Ministry statement added.

The Central government declared a Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 2,275 per quintal for wheat for the Rabi Marketing Season, 2024-25. The MSP acts as a safety net, ensuring that farmers receive a fair price.

Farmers are also free to sell their foodgrains in the open market, if they find better prices, thereby fostering a competitive market environment. The assurance of MSP and the flexibility to sell in the open market have collectively resulted in better income security for farmers, the official said.

In addition to wheat, during the Kharif Marketing Season 2023-24, paddy procurement for the central pool exceeded 775 LMT, benefiting more than one crore farmers by way of disbursement of more than Rs 1.74 lakh crore to the bank accounts of these farmers towards purchase of their paddy at MSP.

With the current stock level of rice, the country exceeds not only its buffer stock norms but also its entire annual requirement. Besides, procurement under the next Kharif Marketing Season 2024-25 is also likely to begin in October 2024, the statement added.

IANS

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