India Expects Record Rice and Wheat Production Despite Adverse Weather

This is despite a hot February and unseasonal rains during the harvesting period in March and early April.

India expects to harvest a record 112.7 MMT of wheat this year, the country’s agriculture ministry said, despite lower yields due to torrential rains and hailstorms. That would be up 5 MMT (4.6%) from last year’s crop. Despite the expected rise in output, India is likely to keep a ban on wheat exports as it seeks to replenish state reserves and bring down domestic prices.

India raised its rice production estimate for 2022–23 to a record 135.5 MMT from an earlier estimate of 130.8 MMT. On the other hand, the wheat output is seen to be 112.7 MT against the previous year’s estimated production of 107.7 MT.

Production of maize in the country is projected to be 35.9 MT, which is 2.2 MT higher than the previous year.

Policy adopted by the Indian government

India banned overseas shipments of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on exports of various other grades in September 2022. On Wednesday, the government said New Delhi could consider supplying broken rice to other countries only through diplomatic channels.

This is despite a hot February and unseasonal rains during the harvesting period in March and early April.

Narendra Singh Tomar’s statement

“Agriculture sector is developing day by day due to the hard work of farmers, the proficiency of scientists, and the farmer-friendly policies of the government,” agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in a press statement on the release of the 3rd advanced estimates.

What does it indicate?

The estimated higher production of wheat indicates more availability in the domestic market than expected earlier. In May last year, the government banned exports of wheat, followed by its products atta (wheat flour), maida, and sooji (semolina) in August, to keep domestic prices in check.

The minister told the Lok Sabha on March 15 that there was no proposal from the ministry to ease the export restrictions on wheat.

Farmers cultivate wheat, one of the key rabi or winter crops, from October onwards, and harvesting gets over by the end of May.

Current crop cultivation scenario

In addition to foodgrains, the ministry sees total oilseed production rising to a record 40.9 MT as compared to 37.9 MT in 2021–22 (July–June).

The output of sugarcane has also seen a boom. Its production in 2022–23 is estimated to be a record high of 494.2 MT, compared to last season’s 439.4 MT.

Amid talk of a lower supply of cotton in the chain due to likely falling production, the government said in its third advance estimate that cotton production in the current season is anticipated to be 34.3 million bales (1 bale = 170 kg), compared with 31.1 million bales last year.

The agriculture ministry will come up with the final estimates for the 2022–23 (July–June) season in August.


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