Millennium Post

Wheat output may surpass last year’s record 95.85 mn tonnes

India, the world’s second-biggest wheat grower, could set a fresh record if the current low temperature continues and there are no rains in the current month, Agriculture Secretary Siraj Hussain told reporters on the sidelines of ‘Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela’ here. In its second estimate, the Ministry had last month pegged wheat output slightly lower at 95.76 million tonnes for the ongoing 2014-15 crop year (July-June).

“Damage to wheat crop is limited to few areas only. The current low temperature will further boost productivity. I believe wheat production this year would be a record. My own assessment is that wheat production this year is going to be very good, may be more than last year,” he said. There are reports of damage in some areas but the crop prospects are good. “The crop yields are expected to improve if the current low temperature continues and there are no rains in the current month,” Hussain said.

Wheat crops, which have fallen flat on ground due to heavy rains and winds in some areas, could recover if the current weather continues, he added.

Echoing views, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Joint Director Research D V Prabhu said, “The recent rains have rather been beneficial to wheat crop. We expect wheat production to be a record 97-98 million tonnes. “Total production could even touch 100 million tonnes if good weather prevails till harvesting,” he added.

Standing crops in over 50 lakh hectares in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal have been damaged by the recent unseasonal rains, according to the government’s data placed before Parliament.

After inaugurating three-day Kisan Vigyan Mela at Pusa campus, the Agriculture Secretary said that the government is focusing on raising productivity of pulses and oilseeds, which the country is heavily dependent on imports.
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