Siraj Hussain, former agriculture secretary, spoke to CNBC-TV18 about the agrarian crisis and the arrival of rabi crops in the market.
Talking about the rabi arrivals, Hussain said, “Actually the prices of most of the rabi crops touch low rates because the arrivals peak around this time. Presently, in many states, the officers are busy with the elections. I visited one mandi in my town in Tanda district Rampur this Sunday and I did not find a single farmer there. I was told at the procurement centre that farmers have not been coming and it seems they have been selling to small traders. I still feel that this year the wheat crop is going to be a record high crop and therefore we should see record high procurement of wheat.”
“In the last two years, this new government has been very successful in procurement. With Uttar Pradesh (UP) and several other states Chhattisgarh, Odisha has set up a very robust procurement system. Whether that system is in place in UP I doubt,” Hussain said.
Talking about the demand prospects this season, Hussain said, “In major states like Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh etc. the system is quite robust and procurement will surely touch last year’s level it may even exceed that. It is the newer states like UP and Bihar for example - I was looking at the data the other day the wheat procurement is zero. So obviously there is a lot of ground to be covered in these states where traditionally the procurement machinery has been very weak especially in Eastern India, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal etc. UP is a case in point because UP in the last two years did very well in wheat procurement. Whether that record will be achieved this year or not we have to see.”