The Punjab Mandi Commission on Saturday announced the closure of grain markets after failing to meet the procurement target set by the Centre.
The Punjab Mandi Commission on Saturday announced the closure of the wheat buying season after falling short of its procurement target of nearly 370,000 tonnes (LMT).
According to data released by Punjab Mandi Board, the state recorded a total of 101.8 LMT of wheat grain, of which 95.9 LMT was purchased by government agencies and 5.9 LMT was purchased by companies private. Food Corporation of India (FCI) purchased 129.12 LMT of wheat from Punjab in 2021.
The Ministry of Consumer, Food and Public Distribution has set a target of purchasing 132 LMT of wheat from the Punjab government this year.
The state government has decided to end wheat procurement at 825 mandis statewide from Sunday night. There are a total of 1099 grain markets in Punjab, of which 274 are closed.
Punjab’s Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak said details of the wheat purchasing season have been issued by the mandi committee. According to him, the state government has ensured prompt disbursement of Minimum Support Fees (MSPs) directly to farmers’ bank accounts.
Agriculture expert Devinder Sharma cited a prolonged dry spell as the main reason for the drop in wheat purchases. Drought causes grains to shrivel and subsequently reduce yields.
The Punjab government has yet to announce compensation for affected wheat farmers.