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Wheat Crop Loss May Be 1-2 MT Due To Untimely Rains; Overall Output To Reach Record Level


The government said on Friday that the wheat production loss due to recent inclement weather is likely to be in the range of 1-2 million tonnes.

However, the overall production will reach a record 112.2 million tonnes in the current year on higher acreage and yield.

The government’s wheat procurement at the minimum support price is underway, and about 7 lakh tonnes have been purchased so far, higher than the 2 lakh tonnes purchased in the year-ago period.

The Centre also asked roller flour millers to directly procure from farmers to meet their requirements instead of seeking stock from the state-owned FCI under the Open Market Sale Scheme.

The government also ruled out the industry’s demand to lift the ban on the export of wheat products, considering the bumper output.

At an event organised by the Roller Flour Millers’ Federation of India, Subodh Kumar Singh, additional secretary in the Food Ministry, released a private wheat crop estimate and said there was a difference in the production projected by the government and industry last year.

However, this year, there are some commonalities in crop estimates. The first common thing is that there is a 3-5% increase in wheat acreage; the second is that production loss due to untimely rains and hailstorms would be about 1-2 million tonnes; and third, there would be an additional 5-5.5 million tonnes of production over the last year, he said.

“The production would be 5-5.5 million tonnes higher than the last year’s government estimate,” he said.

This means the overall wheat production would be touching the record 112.2 million tonne set for the 2022–23 crop year (July–June) and even surpassing this level.

AgriWatch had initially projected wheat output at 104.24 million tonne for 2022–23, as against 97.7 million tonnes in the previous year. However, it revised the estimate downward to 102.9 million tonnes after factoring in crop loss due to untimely rains.

In the 2021–22 crop year (July–June), wheat production declined by 1.84 million tonnes to 107.74 million tonnes due to heat waves in some parts of the growing states. Consequently, the government’s procurement had dropped to 19 million tonnes, as per the government’s data.

The additional secretary further said the surveys are important as commodity prices have gone up across the world. The production varies, and estimates are important to take a policy decision on export and OMSS.

He said there is going to be a significant increase in production, and the availability will be better than last year.

Stating that there is quality loss due to recent rains, Singh said the government has taken a timely decision to relax procurement norms for Madhya Pradesh, where grain with lustre loss is being purchased at MSP.

The government is considering requests from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana governments, he added.

“We hope the government procurement will be better this year. We will have a sufficient supply of stock to meet the PDS and market intervention,” he said.

Meanwhile, domestic prices of wheat and wheat products like atta have declined at present on account of the export ban and the sale of grain at discounted rates to bulk consumers via the open market sale scheme (OMSS), he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Food Corporation of India Chairman and Managing Director Ashok K. Meena said about 7 lakh tonnes of wheat have been procured so far, higher than the 2 lakh tonnes procured in the year-ago period.

“We are hopeful that a target of 342 lakh tonne of procurement will be achieved this year,” he said.

Wheat stock with FCI stood at 8.4 lakh tonne as of April 1 after taking into account the wheat sale under the OMSS, he said, adding that the country has enough wheat to meet the food security demand and market intervention.

On the occasion, the Federation’s President Pramod Kumar requested the government reconsider lifting the ban on the export of wheat products after the government’s procurement.

The government has banned wheat exports since May 22 in order to arrest the rise in domestic prices.


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