Wheat output likely to rise in India as acreage rises in key states
Wheat output in India, worlds’ second largest producer after China, is likely to increase in the current Rabi season as farmers looks to bring more area under the cereal crop in the key producing states. The sowing this season has progressed earlier than the last year in most states including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, a trend usually seen favourable for yield of wheat.
Prevailing weather marked by plummeting day temperature and chilly nights portends a higher yield of wheat that thrives in wintery condition in vegetative state. Wheat sowing season was advanced in most states including Punjab and Haryana where farmers this year increased use of machines for cropping the cereal. “Sowing was expedited this year as more farmers used mechanized rotavators and other implements during wheat cultivation,” director agriculture Punjab BS Bains said. He said that the additional funds for stubble burning had provided more farm machines this year.
Punjab and Haryana cultivate are mainstay of wheat procurement for federal food security public system in India.
In Uttar Pradesh, largest grower of wheat among states, the cereal is expected to be sown over 99 hectares compared to 98.4 lakh hectares in the last season. “Higher precipitation has ensured more groundwater this year and soil moisture is also conductive for higher yield,” an official of Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Department told ET.
The official maintained that sowing of late maturing wheat varieties are still to be completed in western Uttar Pradesh. “In this region usually sowing is delayed due to harvesting of sugarcane and farmers cultivate late wheat varieties,” the official maintained.
Farmers in Madhya Pradesh, second leading grower of wheat, are likely to increase sowing area by 1.5-2 lakh hectares compared to 58 lakh hectares in the last year. “Sowing will extend to January as cotton is still being harvested in some areas,” deputy director statics agriculture department Madhya Pradesh SS Valari said.
Enticed by enhanced Minimum Support Price, farmers in desert state of Rajasthan are growing more wheat even though water level in canals is restricted. The sowing in the state had crossed the last year’s figure of 27.3 lakh hectares this week. “Farmers are expecting rains in coming week to provide the necessary moisture for the crop,” an official handling agriculture extension work told ET.
Wheat output stood at 99.7 million tonnes in the last season in India. Globally wheat futures are looking up as crop has been affected in Australia, top exporter of the cereal.
A higher harvest in India would cool wheat prices globally and also check impact of inflation on middle income category in the country where poor are provided stable at highly subsidized cost.