NEW DELHI (Commodity Online): The wheat procurement by the state run Food Corporation of India (FCI) registered a slight dip due to the lower supplies in the major growing states of the country.

FCI, the nodal agency for the purchase and supply of wheat and rice on the behalf of the government, wheat purchase fell marginally to 19.94 million metric tons during April 1 to May 2 period as against the 20.06 million tons a year earlier, said an official, who declined to be named.

The official said that the main reason for the decrease in purchase was the lower supplies in the key growing states of Punjab and Haryana. However, the company would purchase the targeted 26.3 million tons in the current marketing season, he added.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar expects India's wheat output at 82 million tons in this marketing year, compared with 80.7 million tons in the previous year.

The company starts purchasing wheat from April 1 and rice from October 1. In India, the crop marketing year is from October through September.

The company has already crossed its purchase target of 26 million tons for this marketing year. The company buys staple grains from farmers to build federal stocks, mainly to meet the requirements of welfare programs and to ensure remunerative prices for farmers.