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Agriculture: India’s wheat production in 2024 to be “good,” says Munda

Agriculture: India’s wheat production in 2024 to be “good,” says Munda

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Virendra Pandit 

 

New Delhi: With the completion of sowing of wheat, the main rabi (winter) crop, its production this year is expected to be “good,” Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda said on Friday.

The sowing, which began in October 2023, was completed in various states, including the three top producers—Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab which have the maximum area under wheat coverage.

“As per the sowing data, wheat has been covered in more area and we expect good production this year,” Munda told a news outlet.

According to his ministry’s data, the total acreage under the wheat crop this year was  336.96 lakh hectares compared to 335.67 lakh hectares in the previous year.

On January 3, Food Corporation of India (FCI) Chairman and Managing Director Ashok K Meena said the country could achieve a new record in wheat production at 114 million tons in the ongoing 2023-24 crop year, provided weather conditions remain normal.

Wheat production stood at a record 110.55 million tons in the 2022-23 crop year, compared to 107.7 million tons in the preceding year.

About wheat crop prospects this year, a senior agriculture ministry official said there are no reports of any damage to the crop to date.

“The current cold weather condition is good for the growth of wheat and other rabi crops,” he said.

Climate-resistant seeds have been sown in more than 70 percent of the total wheat area covered in both Punjab and Haryana this year. The two states have sown wheat in a total of nearly 59 lakh hectares this year, the data showed.

The ministry has also started issuing regular advisories to help farmers take care of the wheat crop after the completion of sowing.

In the latest advisory for the period covering January 16-30, it asked farmers to complete the application of nitrogen fertilizer up to 40-45 days after sowing. Farmers have been asked to apply urea just before irrigation for better results.

They have also been advised to use relevant solutions to weed out pests.

To tackle lodging in early sown wheat crops, farmers have been asked to provide ‘growth regulators’ in high fertility irrigated conditions. For frost management, light irrigation should be applied to wheat crops taking due care of the Met Department forecast.

The India Meteorology Department (IMD) has forecast rain in northeast and central areas of India during the January 16-30 period and the temperature is expected to drop below normal in the forthcoming week.

The government is also taking proactive steps to help farmers prepare to save the wheat crop in the event of extreme weather conditions.

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