INDIA – India, the world’s second-largest producer of wheat, expects wheat planting to surpass last year’s 31 million hectares due to the improved water availability and better soil moisture.
According to the officials, wheat planting had begun in irrigated parts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and will pick up in other regions, including Punjab and Haryana, in the coming days, reports Commodity Online.
India had recorded a bumper crop of 98.38 million tonnes last year, and for 2017-18, the government has set a target of 97.50 million tonnes.
According to The Economic Times, in the last season, wheat planting topped the previous year’s 31.55 million hectares by 8%.
As per trade figures, the country had already imported 1 million tonnes of the commodity this year and as of October 1, the government’s wheat stock stood at about 25.3 million tonnes.
“The area will increase over the previous year with ample water in reservoirs and good soil moisture,” said Gyanendra Pratap Singh of the Directorate of Wheat Research in Karnal in Haryana.
“With planting yet to pick up, we can easily say it will be similar to the previous year.
A lot will depend on the minimum support price for wheat and also on the government’s position on import duty on wheat,” said Raj nikant Rai, CEO of agriculture business division at ITC.
Dinesh Pareek, head of wheat business at Patanjali Ayurved, had said the area under wheat in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh was expected to increase this year with heavy rains covering the region.
“Farmers will prefer wheat over chana or mustard in those regions,” he said.