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Govt hopeful of resolving farmers' protest before wheat procurement season, says Food Secretary

Food Secretary Sanjeev Kapoor's comments has come against the backdrop of farmers' protest raising various demands, including guaranteed minimum support price for crops.

Shashwat Bhandari Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: February 23, 2024 0:19 IST
Farmers holding flags march during their ongoing protest
Image Source : PTI Farmers holding flags march during their ongoing protest over various demands, including a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for crops, at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu Border.

The government is hopeful of resolution of farmers' protest before start of wheat procurement season from March, Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra informed on Thursday.

The wheat crop is in good condition and procurement may commence early depending on arrivals in growing states, the Food Secretary said.

There is no proposal to allow further diversion of sugar for ethanol production, he informed.

Barring rice, prices of wheat, wheat flour, sugar and edible oils are stable, Chopra said.

"As told by the agriculture minister, we are willing for further talks. We are happy to talk to them. Probably, we were not able to communicate the full intent. I think constant communication will help resolve the communication gap," Chopra said.

The government has said it is ready for talks with the protesting farmers.

There was no breakthrough in four rounds of talks that were held between the government, represented by three Union ministers, and the protesting farmers.

On Wednesday, farmers' leaders decided to put their 'Delhi Chalo' march on hold for two days after a protester was killed and about 12 police personnel injured in clashes at Khanauri, one of the two protest sites on the Punjab-Haryana border.

Asked if the wheat procurement will be affected due to the ongoing protest, Chopra said, "I am hopeful that the issues will be resolved much in advance of the start of the wheat procurement season. I don't think it will have any impact."

He also said that the wheat crop is in good condition and if the current weather continues for next 10-15 days the government expects a bumper crop in the 2023-24 crop year (July-June).

With inputs from PTI

ALSO READ | Farmers protest: Samyukta Kisan Morcha to hold tractor march on Feb 26, rally at Ramlila Maidan on March 14

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