(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette)
There is no shortage of foodgrains in the country and stocks are sufficient to meet demand, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed Parliament in a written reply on Wednesday.
The minister said there were adequate stocks in the“central pool”, which refers to federally owned food stocks held by the Food Corporation of India and quantities held by states on the Centre's behalf.
“As on 01.07.2022, the actual stock of wheat is 285.10 lakh metric tonnes (28.5 million tonne) against the buffer norm of 275.80 lakh metric tonnes (27.5 million tonne),” the minister told the Lok Sabha.
In a separate reply, the agriculture minister said the Centre was able to procure less wheat this year on account of higher prices being offered by private traders.
“The procurement of wheat has fallen due to higher purchase of wheat by traders as the market price of wheat had shot up due to prevailing international geopolitical situation. Moreover, if the farmer gets better price in comparison to MSP, they are free to sell their produce in open market,” Tomar said. MSP refers to federally determined minimum support prices.
India had banned wheat exports in May after an estimated 3% fall in output due to a heatwave. A patchy monsoon is expected to crimp rice output too as paddy sowing has been hit in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, although official figures are not currently available as the government has not released them.
The minister said planting of kharif or summer sown crops had begun on time in most parts of the country. The area sown under kharif crops as on July 25 stood at“773.97 lakh hectares (77.3 million hectares) compared to last year's corresponding period of 768.87 lakh hectares (76.8 million hectares)”, he said. (Hindustan Times)
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