With the country under a 21-day nationwide lockdown till April 14 due to coronavirus crisis, procurement of wheat in the new Rabi season will start only after the middle of next month.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has till now not issued any new order on the procurement and storage of wheat this season in the country.
"Wheat is normally purchased by state agencies. Normally, the procurement season start from April 1, with states deciding if they wish to prepone the date," a senior FCI officer pointed out.
Haryana has decided to start procurement from April 20.
Meanwhile, farmers in Punjab, Haryana and other states are facing problems in harvesting of standing wheat crops since no farm labour is available due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Krishan Kumar, a farmer in Bundi district of Rajasthan, confirmed the situation.
Madhya Pradesh's trader Amit Khandelwal said that agricultural produce markets were closed in the absence of labourers. He said that harvesting, transport and sale-purchase of wheat will remain shut till the lockdown is in force.