Friday, March 3, 2023

During 2023–2024, the government sets a 34.15 million tonne wheat procurement objective

Govt fixes wheat procurement target at 34.15 million tones for 2023-24

 Delhi, India: The government has set a goal of 34.15 million tonnes of wheat procurement for the 2023-2024 marketing year, which begins in April. This is more than the 18.79 million tonnes that were purchased the year before.

The goal was determined during the procurement arrangements meeting of state food secretaries that took place here alongside the state food ministers conference. Sanjeev Chopra, the Food Secretary, presided over the meeting.

According to a statement released by the food ministry, Punjab will aim to procure 2.5 million tonnes of wheat for the 2022-23 marketing year (April-March), Haryana will procure 1.5 million tonnes, and Madhya Pradesh will procure 2 million tonnes.

Due to a decrease in domestic production and an increase in exports, wheat procurement had decreased the previous year.

However, according to the second estimate provided by the agriculture ministry, the government anticipates a record wheat production of 112.18 million tonnes in the 2023-24 crop year (July-June).

In addition to wheat, the government has set a 10.6 million-ton target for rabi (winter) rice procurement for the 2022-23 marketing year.

States have been advised to increase their rice milling capacity so that one season's milling can be finished before the next season begins and rice recycling can be avoided.

In contrast, procurement of millets and coarse grains is anticipated to exceed 6,30,000 tonnes in 2021-2022, reaching 7,50,000 tonnes this year. According to the statement, Karnataka will acquire 6,00,000 tonnes of millets this year.

In a separate speech to the conference, food minister Piyush Goyal urged state governments to immediately implement smart-PDS.

He praised the Command Control initiative implemented by the Andhra Pradesh government and promised that the federal government would collaborate on its implementation in other states.

The Union minister stated that state governments can also upgrade their godowns to five-star rated ones regarding storage.

During the conference, the best practices of using millets in Karnataka's mid-day meal and PDS programs, which help add nutrition and promote healthy eating, were shared with all state governments.

States were encouraged to acquire more coarse and millets. It was requested that all state governments establish procurement centers for coarse grains in producing districts, particularly tribal areas. It was requested of state governments to also promote the consumption of coarse grains.

The conference also discussed how to raise awareness of the advantages of fortified rice in the fight against anemia and nutritional deficiencies in various parts of the country.

Additionally, the issues surrounding the One Nation One Ration Card scheme and the smart Public Distribution System (PDS) for the streamlined delivery of foodgrains to beneficiaries who were migrant workers were discussed.

The Food Corporation of India, or FCI, is the primary government agency in charge of procuring and distributing foodgrains for the PDS and welfare programs.

All states were urged to learn and adopt the best practices for making their systems effective and efficient, including Andhra Pradesh's command control center, which provides real-time data on the procurement, storage, quality, and distribution of foodgrains.

In addition, consideration was given to the implementation of additional minimum threshold parameters for online procurement operations, such as the integration of power validation of milled rice quantity with electricity consumption and vehicle tracking for food grain transportation, with the goal of increasing procurement operations' efficiency and transparency.

During the discussion, it became clear that there are enough jute bags to meet the needs of the coming season. The finalization of audited accounts, claims for food subsidies, and rationalization of food subsidies were also discussed.

Additionally, state governments have been requested to send FCI any pending bills so that those can be settled in March 2023.

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