Today News Online Service
Amritsar, April 13
Though procurement of wheat had officially started on April 10, the Agriculture Department and mandi board officials said harvesting would pick up pace next week in the district.
This year, the government had advanced procurement date by five days. Last year, the procurement began on April 15.
Shift from post-harvest Baisakhi to pre-harvest fest
Earlier, Baisakhi celebrations were held after harvesting wheat crop. However, with change in climate, crop varieties and technology, festival these days, especially in Majha, harvesting begins a few days after Baisakhi. The much acclaimed poem, “Vaisakhi”, by Lala Dhani Ram Chatrik is a testimony to the fact how farmers celebrated the festival after completing all works associated with wheat harvesting.
Mandi board officials said that only negligible amount of harvested wheat arrived in grain markets and most dana mandis in rural areas have not received even a single grain to date.
Usually, wheat harvesting in Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts begins after Baisakhi. As the Centre has further reduced permissible moisture limit in wheat from 14 per cent to 12 per cent, farmers would have to delay harvesting for a few more days to ensure that they do not have to face any trouble in grain markets.
“It’s a matter of 10 to 12 days once harvesting process starts. In the coming days, combine harvesters from Malwa where harvesting begins early, will start arriving here,” said an Agriculture Development Officer. He added that a visit to rural areas revealed that fields still looked green as grains have not dried up as yet.