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Highest-ever wheat yield expected Despite fall in area under crop, produce likely to touch 180 lakh metric tonnes

Highest-ever wheat yield expected
Despite fall in area under crop, produce likely to touch 180 lakh metric tonnes


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Farmers harvest wheat crop in Bathinda on Monday. Pawan sharma

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
The granary of India, Punjab, is expected to have the highest-ever wheat production this year. Production of this staple foodgrain is expected to touch 180 lakh metric tonnes, in spite of the fall in area under the crop.
This is mainly because of the highest-ever yield in wheat produced in Punjab. The yield is expected to be 52 quintals per hectare, up from the previous high of 50.09 quintals per hectare, achieved in the last rabi marketing season (2018). Agriculture experts say that the favourable weather conditions all through the winter and the prolonged cool weather through the ripening stage of the crop have helped in the state getting the highest yield ever.
The previous high of wheat production was in 2011-12, when Punjab had produced 179.7 lakh metric tonnes (lmt) of wheat — mainly because of increase in area under cultivation as well as favourable weather. Last year, wheat production was 178 lakh metric tonnes.

This year, wheat was sown on 35.02 lakh hectares, as compared to 35.12 lakh hectares last year. “This is mainly because of our efforts to diversify agriculture from the wheat-paddy rotation. In spite of fall in area, the production will be the highest ever,” says Sutantar Kumar Airi, Director, Agriculture, Punjab.
Of the total wheat production, the marketable surplus (what will be brought to mandis to be sold) will be 132 lmt. “Earlier, the estimate of marketable surplus was 130 lmt, which has been revised to 132 lmt by the Agriculture Department, as the latest figures of higher yield come in. As a result, we have had to arrange for additional gunny bags and storage space. All arrangements are finally in place,” says Anandita Mitra, Director, Food and Supplies. Of the total wheat arrival expected in mandis, the Food Corporation of India will be procuring 18 lmt, while the remaining will be procured by the state agencies.
Though the wheat procurement season began officially on April 1, the wheat has just started trickling in the mandis. At Khanna, the largest grain market in Asia, today was the first day of this season that all procurement agencies made some purchase. “We expect that the procurement will peak next week and the entire wheat will be purchased by the first week of May,” says Harbans Singh Rosha, president of the Arhtiya Association, Punjab, and a commission agent in Khanna.
Figures available from the Food and Supplies Department reveal that as of date, 43,134 metric tonnes (MT) of wheat has arrived in various mandis of Punjab. Of this, 34,184 MT has been procured, with 18,309 MT being procured today itself. Till date, last year, 9.22 lmt of wheat had been procured.
43,134 MT wheat arrival in mandis
Figures available from the Food and Supplies Department reveal that as of date, 43,134 metric tonnes of wheat has arrived in various mandis of Punjab. Of this, 34,184 metric tonnes has been procured, with 18,309 metric tonnes being procured on Moday.
To date, last year, 9.22 lakh metric tonnes of wheat had been procured

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