The Uttar Pradesh government has so far purchased close to three lakh metric tons of wheat directly from farmers at minimum support price (MSP) in the ongoing 2021-22 marketing year that began on April 1.
The government increased the MSP of wheat from Rs 1,925 in 2020-21 to Rs 1,975 in 2021-22. Besides, the number of procurement centres have also been increased from 5,000 last year to 6,000 this time. Despite the pandemic wreaking havoc, the state government has ensured smooth procurement of the grain.
About 2.98 lakh MT of wheat was procured till April 16 as against 1, 86, 80.50 MT in the previous year during the same period.
Till date, 55,718 farmers from various districts of the state have benefitted," said Commissioner, Food and Civil Supplies, Manish Chauhan, in Lucknow on Saturday.
To prevent farmers from getting infected with the coronavirus, Covid help desks have been set up at each wheat procurement centre and entry to the centres without wearing masks is banned. Those who come without masks are provided masks through the help desk.
Social Distancing is strictly being followed and the centres are also providing hand wash, water, sanitiser, thermometer and oximeter to keep a check on the spread of novel coronavirus.
“Uttar Pradesh is arguably the first state in the country to initiate procurement by providing biometric authentication through e-POP devices in wheat purchase. It is aimed at benefiting farmers and eliminating the role of middlemen and unauthorised persons under the price support scheme” said the Commissioner, Food and Civil Supplies.