Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Himachal Pradesh government has procured a record 100,657 quintal wheat in this Rabi season that is probably state's highest ever, Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar said on Monday.
He said the procurement is still on. The state has set up a target of procurement of 12,500 metric tonne through the Food Corporation of India.
Last year's procurement was 31,295 quintal. "This year's wheat procurement is 3.2 times more or 221 per cent (69,362 quintals) higher in comparison to the last year," said Kanwar.
He said eight procurement centres have been opened in five districts -- Paonta Sahib and Kala Amb in Sirmaur district, Haroli and Takarala in Una district, Fatehpur and Thakurdwara in Kangra district, Patta Ghumarwin in Bilaspur district and Nalagrah in Solan district.
A maximum of 30,520 quintal wheat was procured in Una district, followed by 29,839 quintal in Sirmaur district, 27,270 quintal in Kangra, 12,599 quintal in Solan and 427 quintal in Bilaspur district.
The Rabi marketing season starts in April but the bulk of the procurement is completed by June.
A total of 2,447 farmers have been benefited from the procurement of wheat at the minimum support price of Rs 1,975 per quintal.
Agriculture, the main occupation of the people in Himachal Pradesh, is dependent on the monsoon season, and it provides direct employment to 69 per cent of the state's population.