EXPRESSES SATISFACTION AS CORONA FAILS TO PUT A SPOKE IN THE ASIA’s LARGEST WHEAT PROCUREMENT PROCESS
RECORD 128 LMT OF WHEAT PROCURED DURING RMS-2020-21
Chandigarh, May 31( Wishavwarta)-With the curtains eventually coming down on the Asia’s largest wheat procurement process, the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday thanked the farmers, Arthiyas, laborers and all government agencies for having achieved a record wheat procurement of 128 LMT successfully despite the trying circumstances amid COVID-19.
Complimenting the Departments of Agriculture and Food & Civil Supplies along with their agencies including MARKFED, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, PUNSUP besides FCI on this remarkable feat, Captain Amarinder said that due to elaborate mandi arrangements and operation management of staggered arrival of wheat in the midst COVID-19 failed to put a spoke in the gigantic wheat procurement operation lasting one-and-a-half month during the current Rabi Marketing Season.
Notwithstanding the grave threat posed by the pandemic, the Chief Minister while expressing satisfaction said that the patience, discipline and adherence to the health safety measures during harvesting, procurement and storage of wheat was the hallmark in ensuring zero procurement related to COVID-19 cases.
The Chief Minister also appreciated the Food & Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu for successfully accomplishing the massive task of wheat procurement besides prompt lifting and ensuring timely payment to the farmers of their produce. Apart from these, the Chief Minister also lauded the concerted efforts of Deputy Commissioners, GoGs and police personnel other government staff involved in the procurement process.
Pointing out further, the Chief Minister said that during the testing times of the Coronavirus pandemic, Punjab continues to march with the positive spirit to be the torchbearer to revolutionize agriculture and procurement for the benefit of farmers, Arthiyas and labour besides making our country self-reliant in food production.
Meanwhile, ACS Development Viswajeet Khanna said that to facilitate the pre-harvesting necessities during lockdown, the department of Agriculture had successfully coordinated the tracking, screening and supervision of all combine operators entering Punjab borders till completion of the harvesting operation. Medical checkup of such combine operators was ensured before starting the work by them and Sanitization of combine harvesters and straw reapers was ensured by department apart from enforcing social distancing, face masking and hand washing measures.
ACS further said that Punjab Mandi Board provided COVID safety stations in every mandi, each installed with a hands free hand washing unit and sanitizer in addition to free distribution of 1.6 lakh masks and 35000 ltrs of sanitizers. The just concluded procurement operation is testimony to the feats that can be achieved if each stakeholder herein the Arthiya, Farmer and the labour acts responsibly and the arms of the government working in tandem go beyond their line of duty, added Khanna.
ACS further said that with the innovative arrangements undertaken during the current procurement, the number of mandis was increased from last year 1837 to 4000 besides issuing 17.39 Lakh online passes to farmers through Arthiyas to regulate arrival of their produce.
Principal Secretary Food & Civil Supplies KAP Sinha informed that of wheat sown over 35.08 Lac hectares, 127.62 LMT has been procured by the agencies during this difficult phase. He further pointed out that amongst all the districts, Sangrur tops in arrival of 12.24 LMT, which is almost 10 percent of the total state’s arrival followed by Muktsar (9.70LMT) and Bathinda (9.65LMT).
The Principal Secretary also revealed that in comparison to the last season about 3 LMT short has been procured in the state, the major shortfalls being in the districts of Patiala Fazilka, Amritsar and Tarn Tarn. Meanwhile Ludhiana, Sangrur and Jalandhar districts has shown higher procurement over the last year.