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Wheat purchase may hit record in Haryana; storage a worry

Wheat purchase may hit record in Haryana; storage a worry
PTI | 06:05 PM,May 01,2012
Chandigarh, May 1 (PTI) Wheat collection in Haryana is set to create records as procurement is expected to cross 75 lakh tonnes on back of bumper output, but storage remains a big worry. Haryana had recorded the highest wheat purchase for central pool at 69.28 lakh tonnes in 2011-12 rabi marketing season (starts in April). This time, the total procurement is likely to cross 75 lakh tonnes which will be the highest ever purchase in the history of the state, a senior official of Haryana Food and Supply department told PTI here. Before the procurement started, the state government had set a target of 70 lakh tonnes. The crop purchase stood at 68.81 lakh tonne till yesterday, up 21 per cent over the same period last season. "The daily crop arrival still ranges between 2-3 lakh tonnes in Haryana. There is a great possibility that new record (of wheat procurement) will be set today itself," an official said. The state is witnessing heavy arrival of the crop. The state authorities have even banned farmers from bringing wheat from adjoining Uttar Pradesh villages. Haryana contributes almost 30 per cent to central pool. The state is targetting a record wheat yield in the current season on the back of favourable winter season, with a productivity of 47.50 quintals, the highest ever in the state. The state has pegged the output at 118.61 lakh tonne, with an area of 25.05 lakh hectares. However, a likely record procurement has also raised concerns about storage of the crop in the view of insufficient storage space and slow movement of foodgrain stock to other states. "There will certainly be a problem in storing wheat because of shortage of storage space," the official said. The state authorities feel that whopping 80 lakh tonnes of wheat will need to stored in the open and could get damaged due to the monsoon season. "We made arrangement for storing 70 lakh tonne of wheat with a great difficulty and now crop procurement surpassing our assessment, it will make our task (storage) further difficult," he said. The Haryana government would be writing to the Centre to speed up the movement of wheat and rice to foodgrain deficit states. The state is also concerned about the slow movement of grains -- about 4 lakh tonne of grain is moved a month against the monthly demand of 10 lakh tonne. The state has covered capacity of 48.79 lakh tonne, while Covered Area Plinth (CAP) is 30 lakh tonne.

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