Wheat procurement during the Rabi marketing season of 2023-24 has surpassed the total procurement of the season, official sources said on Thursday.

Till April 26 2023, wheat procurement during 2023-24 season was 195 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), while in 2022-23, the procurement was 188 LMT.

This has largely benefitted the farmers as the minimum support price (MSP) outflow of about Rs 41,148 crore has already been made to about 15 lakh farmers during the ongoing wheat procurement operations, the sources added.

Notably, major contribution in the procurement comes from three wheat procuring states of Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh with procurement of 89.79 LMT, 54.26 LMT and 49.47 LMT, respectively.

One of the major factors which have contributed to the progressive procurement this year is the grant of relaxation by the Centre in quality specifications of wheat being procured, in view of untimely rains leading to lustre loss. This will reduce the hardship of farmers and check any distress sale, sources said.

Rice procurement too has progressed well as 354 LMT has been procured till April 26 during Kharif marketing season of 2022-23 with another 140 LMT yet to be procured.

Further, 106 LMT rice is estimated to have been procured during the Rabi crop of Kharif marketing season 2022-23.

The combined stock position of wheat and rice in the Central Pool has surpassed 510 LMT which puts the country in a comfortable position to meet its requirements of food grains, official sources said.