Setting Records High : Indian Wheat Production Expected to Increase at 114 Million Tonnes in 2023-24

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Setting Records High : Indian Wheat Production Expected to Increase at 114 Million Tonnes in 2023-24

Wheat cultivation is expected to take a new rise in 2023-24, summing up to 114 million tonnes, provided if weather conditions remain stable, reported a top food ministry official on Wednesday.

In 2022-23, wheat production stood at a record of 110.55 million tonnes (June-July), whereas the year preceding it recorded 107.7 million tonnes. The final installment of wheat (main rabi crop) is underway and is expected to last till next week. According to government figures, 320.54 lakh hectares of wheat had been sown up till last week.

“We expect that total area under cultivation of wheat will increase this year and God willingly if the climate is alright, the production will be 114 million tonne that’s what the agriculture ministry has indicated informally to us,” Food Corporation of India (FCI) Chairman and Managing Director Ashok K Meena told reporters.

Increase in the total sowing area has also been recorded, as per the archives of previous year. Some states faced a shortfall of land by one per cent but the difference is expected to get covered up in the first week of January, as reported by Meena. 

If the levels of production keep on increasing at such good rates, India will be able to procure more than its requirement and also additional stocks needed for the Open Market Sale Scheme(OMSS) for next year. Monitoring an expected growth of 114 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry on Tuesday decided to support farmers to bring 60% of total wheat area of 30 million hectares under the climate-resistant (heat tolerant) varieties that could beat the impact of depressed rainfall in many areas this year. 

Wheat Production is Expected To Touch A New Record in 2023-24

The target production has been set to 114 million tonnes for 2023-24, as compared to the record of 113 million tonnes of 2022-23. This would be a part of the total foodgrains production target of 332 million tonnes during 2023-24, set by the ministry in May. Targets for pulses and oilseeds are also higher this year. On asking agriculture secretary Manoj Ahuja, he replied by saying that climate changes have been impacting agriculture. The strategy adopted by the government are climate resilient seeds. “As a strategy, I request all states to identify specific areas and map varieties that can be sown”, added Mr. Ahuja. 

The FCI chief responded, “We will try our best to provide minimum support price to all farmers,” when asked if the central nodal agency intended to scale up procurement considering the opening wheat balance of 76 lakh tonnes on April 1, which is barely enough to meet the buffer need. The open market sale appears to have steadied prices, which are not higher than they were the previous year. 

Meena also said that since the MSP of wheat is higher by 7 percent than the previous year, it is expected that a lot of farmers will agree to give their produce to FCI.

FCI or Food Corporation of India is a central agency that purchases rice and wheat to ensure MSP to the farmers and distributes the same to 81 crore poor people through ration shops. Additionally, it makes use of OMSS surplus grain to increase domestic availability and monitor pricing.

The FCI purchased 26.2 million tonnes of wheat last year, which exceeded  the 18.4 million tonnes needed as an annual buffer. At present, there are no short term loans with FCI. The flow of funds under food subsidy is extremely comfortable and smooth.

The year’s wheat crops will be ready for harvest from April onwards.

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