Wheat supplies have been extended until May 31 in six states, including Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, where they were due to end earlier this month, the Food Ministry said on Sunday. Wheat supplies were due to end on May 10 in Rajasthan and May 15 in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Wheat purchases for the current 2022/23 marketing year started in April. The maximum amount of wheat is purchased in the first months of the year.
"The centre has asked wheat-producing states and UTs with early lead times to continue sourcing supplies through May 31, 2022," the Food Department said in a statement. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) nodal agency has also been asked to continue sourcing wheat under the core group, it said. The extended period should benefit farmers. The decision follows requests from UT and state governments to continue the acquisition process, he added.
Meanwhile, wheat supply under the central pool is progressing smoothly in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, J&K states, Gujarat, Bihar and Rajasthan. The ministry said public markets so far this year have been lower than in MSP, where farmers have sold wheat to private traders, mainly due to higher market prices. On May 13, the government restricted wheat exports to curb high wheat prices, except in the case of an irrevocable letter of credit and requests from neighbouring countries/countries with food shortages.
Government purchases of wheat reached 18 million tonnes as of May 14 of the current 2022-23 marketing year, compared with 36.7 million tonnes in the same period last year. The wheat supply target has been revised to 19.5 million tonnes this year from a previous target of 44.4 million tonnes.
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