India is expected to ease wheat purchase rules from farmers after unseasonal rains and hailstorms damaged crops just before the start of harvest in the main producing central and northern states.
plans to buy 34.15 million tonnes of new season wheat from local farmers to bolster government reserves after purchases fell 53% to 18.8 million tonnes last year due to a weak harvest.
A senior government official said new-season wheat had started arriving in the market, but the crop had lost its lustre in some districts because of recent rains. “We have allowed the Madhya Pradesh state to procure wheat even if there is a 10% loss in lustre. If required,
we would consider other states and other parameters like moisture,” the official told Reuters. The central state of Madhya Pradesh is the second largest producer of wheat after the northern state of Punjab.
Wheat in Punjab and Haryana has also been damaged by the rains and the government would be under pressure to make the same sort of changes in the purchase rules for these states, a New Delhi-based trader said. Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh together constitute more than 98% of the total wheat procurement in 2022.