Himachal Pradesh agriculture minister Virender Kanwar on Friday said the state government has decided to strengthen wheat procurement by opening wheat procurement centres in the state this year to facilitate farming community.

Informing about this, Kanwar said farmers of the border areas of the state like Kangra, Solan, Sirmaur and Una go to sell their produce in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana and face many problems.

Therefore, it has been decided to open wheat procurement centers in the state itself for their convenience.

“Except Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts, wheat crop is grown in all the districts in the state and about 672 thousand metric tonnes of wheat is estimated to be produced this year. The state government has fixed the minimum support price of wheat at Rs 1975 this year,” he added.

He further stated that with the help of the Agriculture department and marketing board, the procurement centers had been opened at Paonta Sahib and Kala Amb in Sirmaur district, Kangar (Haroli) and Takrala in Una district and Fatehpur in Kangra district. He directed to provide necessary facilities for opening wheat procurement center at Nalagarh in Solan district.

“Around 6,701 quintal wheat has been procured in the state so far this year. 5,570 quintal wheat has been procured in Paonta Sahib and 3,67 in Kala Amb in Sirmaur district, 379.50 in Kangar and 132 in Takrala in Una district and 252.50 quintal in Fatehpur in district Kangra,” he said.

He directed the department to make timely arrangements for wheat procurement and also to provide basic facilities at the procurement centers so that the farmers visiting the center do not face any kind of inconvenience. Kanwar urged the farmers of the state to bring their produce to nearby procurement centers and sell their products at fixed minimum support price (MSP).