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India’s wheat output in 2023

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    17th Mar, 2023

Context

Recently, the wheat crop were sown in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, during the first half of November 2022, which is in the initial stages already get affected by several ups and downs, has estimated an unpredictable situation due to increase in temperature. 

Factors affecting the wheat production:

  • A matter of temperatures: The maximum temperature for grain –filling shouldn’t cross 37 degrees before March-end. 
  • The crop is ready for harvest once the grains have ripened and moisture levels reduced to 12-13% by rising temperatures. 
    • Last year, maximum temperatures breached the 35-degrees mark in the northern plains by mid-March and 40 degrees before the month-end, which impacted the yields 
  • Government procurement: Government procurement was one of the reason behind the marginal dip in country’s wheat output (from 109.59 MT in 2020-21 to107mt in 2021-22
  • Global price relief: FAO food price index hit a historic high of 159.7 points in March 2022 during the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • However, since then, FAO index has fallen every month to touch 129.8 points in February 2023. 

Wheat cultivation in India:

  • Type of Crop: Wheat is a Rabi Crop.
  • Temperature requirements: Between 10-15°C (Sowing time) and 21-26°C (Ripening & Harvesting) with bright sunlight.
  • Rainfall or water requirement: Around 75-100 cm.
  • Soil type: Well-drained fertile loamy and clayey loamy.
  • Major producers: Uttar Pradesh > Punjab > Madhya Pradesh > Haryana > Rajasthan.

How does it impact the farmers and consumers?

  • The expected procurement would be able to meet the requirements of the public distribution system, midday meals and other regular welfare schemes, whose annual wheat requirement is around 26 MT. 
    • However, it will fall short in meeting the commitments of special schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme.
  • Second, the government will not be able to supply wheat to flour millers and other bulk consumers to moderate open market prices during the lean months after October.
  • Third, the price of wheat may rise further due to lower production and huge export demand. This may enhance food inflation in the country and also increase the food subsidy bill of the government that is likely to cross INR 2.8 lakh crore this fiscal.
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