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Madhya Pradesh becomes country’s new “Storehouse of grain”


भोपाल : बुधवार, जुलाई 1, 2020, 21:25 IST

Madhya Pradesh has made history and has established a new identity as the leading state in the country in wheat procurement. The farmers of Madhya Pradesh are the makers of Madhya Pradesh. Today, Madhya Pradesh has achieved the place which was traditionally possessed by Punjab who were leaders in wheat production and procurement in the country. This year Madhya Pradesh has created a new history by procuring more than 129 lakh metric tonnes of wheat.

Farming is the foundation of Madhya Pradesh. Earlier the state was considered backward. Today the farmers of the state have put such a tilak of bumper production on the spear of Madhya Pradesh that Madhya Pradesh has reached the first position, leaving behind all the states. Our state contributes to one-third of the total wheat procurement in the country. Punjab, which was historically a pioneer in wheat procurement, is lagging behind Madhya Pradesh today. Under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan, efforts were made to make agriculture a profitable business. Irrigation area was increased by enhancing irrigation facilities. Electricity was made available to farmers at subsidized rates. Efforts were made to minimize the cost of production and to get the farmers a fair price for their produce.

The purpose of purchasing food grains at support price is to maintain price stability of grain in the market by providing foodgrain to farmers at a very affordable rate under the National Food Security Act and at a reasonable price to the farmers. Purchases are made by the Government of India through the Food Corporation of India at support price and the states make purchases for their needs. Many states procure for the needs of other states of the country and entrust it in the Central Pool to the Government of India. Madhya Pradesh has a requirement of 29 lakh metric tonnes. Apart from this, the wheat that has been procured in the state is for the central pool.

Due to Covid-19 crisis, wheat procurement was a challenge for both the government and the farmers. Due to lockdown and traffic disruptions, government procurement was very important for farmers as there was no sale of wheat in the market. Preparations for wheat procurement usually begin in January-February. Madhya Pradesh is the only state where e-procurement software has been developed since year 2012-13 through which all the processes from registration of farmers to fixing of procurement centres, process of purchase from farmers, transportation from trucks to godowns and payment of farmers, etc. are completely online. From the very beginning, the state government closely understood all the subjects of the strategy of wheat procurement and removed whatever difficulties could come up. The number of procurement centers was doubled. More than one-third of the centres were opened at the godown level. As a result, the farmers had to cover the least distance and there was lesser crowd at each centre. Labourers were arranged at the procurement centres by employing local people only. In the logistics campaign for the arrangement of trucks for transportation of wheat and safe storage of wheat, more than two thousand trucks were utilized for storage of wheat in godowns for two months. About 16 lakh farmers sold their wheat at the procurement centres and more than 5 lakh officers and employees were engaged in the procurement. This campaign has been one of the largest campaigns in the world, possibly in the period of Corona and lockdown.

Arrangements were also made for payment of the procured wheat. So far, more than Rs 25 thousand crores has been deposited in the accounts of farmers. Through wheat procurement, farmers were provided funds on priority basis this year in the event of Corona and lockdown. This gave pace to the rural economy. In the process of wheat procurement, small and marginal farmers, who cultivate small plots, were the first get direct benefits.

It is Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s dream to make agriculture a profitable business in Madhya Pradesh. We have moved forward to a great extent but more work is needed. The state is taking strong steps in this direction. The farmers of Madhya Pradesh are hard working. It is this hard work that has given Madhya Pradesh this historic achievement today. Shri Chouhan says that my government will move forward along with the farmers, so that in future also such achievements are assured through the efforts of our farmers. I will come up to the expectations of the farmers of the state who have shown faith towards the government.

Son of a farmer, the Chief Minister always stands firmly at the forefront to solve the problems of the farmers. Farmers have faith in their leader who himself is a farmer, therefore the interests of the farmers can never be ignored. In view of the potential difficulties faced by the farmers due to Covid-19 and lockdown, the Madhya Pradesh government has created a strong network of wheat procurement and deposited cash in the accounts of farmers after purchasing wheat. The crop insurance scheme money which was not given to earlier to the farmers was provided to them. With the efforts of the government and the hard work of the farmers, Madhya Pradesh is becoming the leader in foodgrain production in the country.

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