The supply of wheat has been extended until May 31 in six states, including Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, where it was due to end earlier this month, the food ministry said on Sunday.
Wheat purchases 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 began in April. The maximum amount of wheat is purchased during the first months of the year.
“The Center has asked wheat producing states and UTs with early procurement close dates to continue procurement through May 31, 2022,” the Food Ministry said in a statement.
The nodal agency Food Corporation of India (FCI) has also been asked to continue sourcing wheat under the central pool, he said.
The extended period should benefit farmers. The decision follows requests from state/UT governments to continue the procurement process, he added.
Meanwhile, the supply of wheat under the central pool is progressing smoothly in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, from Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Bihar and Rajasthan.
The ministry further said that government purchases have been less so far this year, mainly due to higher market prices compared to MSP, where farmers sell wheat to private traders.
On May 13, the government restricted wheat exports to contain high wheat prices, except in the event of an irrevocable letter of credit and requests from neighboring/food-deficit countries.
Government wheat purchases reached 18 million tonnes through May 14 of the current 2022-23 marketing year, down from 36.7 million tonnes a year ago.
The wheat supply target has been revised to 19.5 million tonnes from the previous target of 44.4 million tonnes for this year.
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