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Punjab Set For Record Yield

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Punjab set for record yield

May overshoot procurement targets for central pool

Jangveer Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27

Punjab is set to achieve a record wheat yield and is likely to overshoot procurement targets for the central pool in view of conducive weather conditions.

Wheat production in the state is likely to overshoot 160 lakh tonnes against a production of 154 lakh tonnes last year. Similarly government agencies are likely to procure more than 110 lakh tonnes of the foodgrain against the procurement of 102 lakh tonnes last year.

Intense cold wave conditions in December-January resulted in multiplication of crop shoots. This ensured development of more ears and finally more grain per plant. Agriculture Department Director Dr BS Sidhu said cold wave conditions had saved the crop from pest attack. Winter rains had also proved condusive for the crop. The clearing of the weather in March had resulted in the crop maturing by Baisakhi.

Warm weather during the winter months had in earlier years brought down the average yield in Punjab. In 2009-10 the average yield declined to 43.7 quintals per hectare due to early maturity, which resulted in shrivelling of the grain. This year the crop matured at the right time, by April 13. Though the Agriculture Department is still calculating the average yield for the present crop, Dr Sidhu said it would cross 45 quintals per hectare. The highest crop yield of 47 quintals per hectare in 1999 had gone down to 42 quintals per hectare in 2005.

Food and Civil Supplies Secretary DS Grewal said late maturity had resulted in late start to the procurement season. State agencies had procured 64 lakh tonnes of wheat till date as compared to 93 lakh tonnes procured during the same time last year. He said Sangrur was leading in procurement with 8 lakh tonnes, followed by Patiala with 7.80 lakh tonnes and Ferozepur 7 lakh tonnes.

On discoloured grain, Grewal said this was limited to a few areas. He said discoloured wheat was being stocked separately for inspection by the FCI.

He said Pungrain, slated to procure 17 per cent of the total crop, would make online payments for the wheat crop for the first time.

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