E-passes, social distancing, more purchase centres: Wheat procurement to kick off in Punjab on Saturday

Wheat procurement season is about to start out from April 10 in round 4,000 mandis of Punjab amid the controversy over direct fee to farmers by FCI as a substitute of paying via arhtiyas.

This 12 months, procurement season was delayed by 10 days by the state authorities owing to rising Covid circumstances.

The state authorities shall be following commonplace working procedures (SOPs) much like what they’d adopted final 12 months. “All the 27,000 arhtiyas have been registered by the Punjab Mandi Board. They will be getting e-passes generated for farmers in their contact. Those farmers can come in turns as they used to come during last April when a full lockdown was in force,” a mandi board worker informed The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, round 12.5 lakh farmers are anticipated to return to mandis and anticipated manufacturing of wheat is round 170 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), of which practically 130 LMT shall be bought by authorities businesses and the remaining shall be by personal businesses, in comparison with 127.28 LMT of wheat arrival in mandis within the 2020 wheat procurement season out of which 126.70 LMT was authorities buy. However, wheat manufacturing was round 170 LMT final 12 months as nicely, as per info from the mandi board workplace. The remaining inventory is offered by farmers on their very own to personal corporations out of the mandis.

In 2019-20 nevertheless, as per mandi board data, 130.67 LMT of wheat arrived on the mandis out of which 129.12 LMT was authorities procurement.

Coloured slips as per day shall be issued, which shall be thought of as e-passes. Arhtiyas shall be sending these slips to involved farmers who will come to mandis as per the day given to them. This is to forestall crowding in mandis. Farmers want to indicate their e-pass on the mandi gate. A complete of 11,550 e-passes had been issued by the mandi board until 8 pm for farmers to return to 4,000 buy centres of Punjab on April 10.

Sources nevertheless stated that in lots of circumstances, farmers do soar the date as nicely. “Around 1 lakh persons including arhtiyas, their staff members and even mandi board officers will be physically present in mandis for this procurement season work. Around 12.5 lakh farmers will be coming to mandis. We are following similar SOPs as we followed in 2020 for the first time when lockdown was imposed in the entire country,” Punjab Mandi board secretary Ravi Bhagat informed The Indian Express. He ADDED, “Production of wheat is expected to be around 170 LMT but arrival in mandis is expected to be around 130 LMT. Last year arrival in mandis was around 127 LMT while production again was in the range of 170-172 LMT. The rest was private purchase.”

Procurement season is from April 10 to May 31 this 12 months whereas final 12 months it was from April 15 until May 31. Prior to the pandemic, most procurement of wheat used to occur in round 20 days and it used to start out from April 1 onwards. Mandi board officers stated their workers is making 30×30 blocks for farmers at particular distances in order to keep up social distancing, and sanitisers, wash basins and many others. for hand washing may even be put in at mandis as earlier than.

Jatinder Garg, vp of the Punjab Arhtiya Federation informed The Indian Express: “We will be getting passes generated for farmers in turns and will work as before…but still the question of payment has not been resolved as of now.”

Punjab Food Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu stated, “There used to be 1,872 purchase centres before Covid, which were increased to 4,000 in 2020. This season, it will be the same. MSP of wheat is Rs 1,975 per quintal, procurement agencies like Pungrain, Markfed, Punsup and even FCI will purchase wheat as part of government purchase.”

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