Published on: April 13, 2023
Why in news? Country’s key wheat-producing States like Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Gujarat worried about anticipated drop in yield , output and quality.
- The main reason for drop in the production were because of unusual rise in mercury in February this year, followed by an untimely spell of widespread rain accompanied by gusty winds and hails in the major wheat producing states under the influence of consecutive western disturbances.
- The IMD data suggests that between March 1 and April 9, large excess rains (40% more rain than normal) were received in several States.
How will the rains affect wheat crop?
- Rain spells accompanied by winds are not considered to be a good sign for the crop’s health if they are close to the ripening and harvesting stage, especially if there are instances of water logging in the fields.
- There have been instances of crop flattening in fields, besides water logging, which could be detrimental for the ready-to-harvest wheat crop.
- Wheat, a key rabi (winter) crop is sown between late October till December, it nears the ripening stage in the month of mid-March, and harvesting of the early sown varieties usually commences by the end of March itself.
How much output would be affected?
- Agriwatch, an agri-commodity research firm, in its latest report has stated that owing to the recent untimely rains, the country’s wheat production in the agriculture year 2022-23 is likely to be 102.9 MT which is less than the Union government’s estimate of 112 MT.
- The Centre, however, is optimistic that wheat production would be close to 112 MT on account of an increased acreage (area) of wheat and better yield this season, despite a slight production loss due to recent adverse weather conditions.
What are the potential impact of low output?
- it could lead to a hike in prices of wheat and wheat-based products in the domestic market
- can also lead to a potential foodgrain security issue.
- If the production is less, then the possibility of market intervention by the government is also quite bleak as its priority would be to maintain the buffer stock
- This is the second most important cereal crop.
- It is the main food crop, in north and north-western part of the country.
- Wheat is a rabi crop requires a cool growing season and a bright sunshine at the time of ripening.
- It requires 50 to 75 cm of annual rainfall evenly distributed over the growing season.
- There are two important wheat-growing zones in the country – the Ganga-Satluj plains in the north-west and black soil region of the Deccan.
- The major wheat-producing states are Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan