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U.P. Government Agencies Record Third Consecutive Year of Low Wheat Procurement

Uttar Pradesh has witnessed another year of low wheat procurement by government agencies, marking the third consecutive year where farmers have predominantly chosen to sell their crops to private buyers offering prices higher than the minimum support price (MSP) set by authorities. Despite efforts to attract farmers, government agencies managed to procure only 9.31 lakh […]

Uttar Pradesh has witnessed another year of low wheat procurement by government agencies, marking the third consecutive year where farmers have predominantly chosen to sell their crops to private buyers offering prices higher than the minimum support price (MSP) set by authorities.

Despite efforts to attract farmers, government agencies managed to procure only 9.31 lakh metric tons (LMT) of wheat in the 2024-25 marketing year, falling significantly short of the 60 LMT target. This figure, however, marks an increase from the 2.19 LMT procured in 2023-24 and 3.16 LMT in 2022-23.

In the record-breaking year of 2021-22, Uttar Pradesh had purchased 56.41 LMT of wheat from over 13 lakh farmers at MSP, highlighting a stark contrast to recent years. This year, only 1,80,083 out of 4,19,767 registered farmers turned up at the government procurement centres across the state, despite the establishment of a record 6,488 centres.

Commissioner of food and civil supplies, Sourabh Babu, acknowledged the persistently low procurement, attributing it to the price disparity between MSP and market rates. He noted extensive efforts to encourage farmers to sell to government agencies, including the expansion of procurement centres for their convenience.

“Most farmers opted to sell their wheat to private agencies offering prices as high as ₹2,400 per quintal, well above the MSP of ₹2,275 per quintal,” Babu explained, emphasizing that while this benefited farmers financially, it posed challenges for government procurement efforts.

Officials cited the Russia-Ukraine conflict as a major driver behind the surge in global wheat prices, which influenced domestic markets. The resulting instability encouraged farmers to seek better returns outside government channels, underscoring the economic pressures influencing their decisions.

Concerns over corruption at procurement centres, delayed payments to farmers, and logistical challenges in transporting produce to government facilities further deterred farmers from engaging with government procurement processes, according to insiders familiar with the situation.

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