The Centre has extended the wheat procurement season till 31st of this month. It has asked the States and UTs with procurement closing dates expiring early to continue procurement till the end of May. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has also directed Food Corporation of India to continue with wheat procurement under the central pool. The extended period of wheat procurement is expected to benefit farmers. The decision came in the wake of requests by state governments to continue the procurement process. The Ministry said, meanwhile, the procurement of wheat under central pool is progressing smoothly in Rabi Marketing Season 2022-23, in the States and UTs of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Bihar and Rajasthan. It added that the wheat procurement under central pool has been less during ensuing Rabi Marketing Season 2022-23 as compared to corresponding period of previous Marketing Season. It was mainly due to the higher market prices than MSP, wherein farmers have been selling wheat to private traders. The Central government has also decided to restrict export of wheat to rein in high prices of wheat, except in case of irrevocable letters of credit and requests from neighbouring and food-deficit countries. The Ministry said, till 14th of May, a quantity of 180 Lakh Tonnes of wheat has been procured, benefiting about 16.83 lakh farmers with an MSP value of 36 thousand 208 crore rupees.