The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has recorded an all-time high wheat procurement of 433.44 lakh MT, recording an 11 per cent increase over last year's procurement, informed the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Wednesday.
Speaking at an event organized to commemorate the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in Mumbai today, R P Singh, FCI Executive Director (West Zone) said, "the Corporation was the backbone of free foodgrain distribution to the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana." "A total of 5 kg per person per month was distributed to the 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act," Singh said.
"Between April 2020 and November 2021 a record 598.87 lakh MT of foodgrains was allocated out of which 565.47 lakh MT grains were lifted," Singh said.
During the event, he also paid tributes to the FCI employees who tackled several challenges during the pandemic, including an acute shortage of hands, in ensuring timely transportation of food grains.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gopal Shetty who was the Chief Guest at the event lauded the role played by FCI during the COVID-19 pandemic and said "because of the extraordinary performance of Food Corporation of India, food grains could reach the beneficiaries across India.
Meanwhile, the Centre has today decided to extend the free food grains supply under the PMGKAY scheme by another four months till March 2022, with an estimated outlay of Rs 53,334 crore.
Speaking about the performance of West Zone, R P Singh informed that though wheat procurement has been traditionally dominated by Punjab, during the 2020-21 season, Madhya Pradesh surpassed the northern state to rank at the first position in wheat procurement.
"At the beginning of Kharif Marketing Season 2021-22, all procurement portals in 24 procuring States has been integrated with a Central Foodgrains Procurement Portal to share identified Minimum Threshold Parameters such as online registration of farmers, verification of land records, digitization of mandi operations, MSP transfer and CMR or Wheat delivery management," Singh added.