ASIA – India’s wheat production is predicted to hit target of 100million tonnes this year given conducive climatic conditions witnessed especially during the grain ripening period.

Farmers and scientists attributed the increase to favorable climatic conditions, availability of water, isolated cases of pest infestations in major wheat growing estates in the country, according to Blackseagrain report.

In its second advanced estimates, the Union Agriculture Ministry predicted 97.11 million tonnes of wheat production this year with over 100million tonnes in output estimates given suitable conditions for the crop.

“The climate has been conducive this year and pest attacks, including yellow rust, have been reported in very few pockets.

The grain filling (ripening) process is at a good pace owing to optimum temperature. So total production certainly would be over 100 million tonnes,” said G.P. Singh, Director, Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR).

The government expressed its assurance of better production as compared to last year’s 98.51 million tonnes output, which the ministry had predicted at 96.64 million tonnes in its second advanced estimates.

According to Singh, favorable temperatures, expected to remain below 30°C, would ensure a bumper harvest despite the fact that the area under wheat cultivation was reduced to 30.07 million hectares in 2017-18 from 31.78 million hectares in 2016-17.

“Temperature has gone up by a few degrees but it is still below 30, which is good for grain filling process.

Farmers in our area are likely to start reaping by April 13,” said Manoj Munjal, a wheat farmer.

In a report from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), India’s share in global wheat production was recorded at 15.36% in 2017-18, with China being the leading wheat producing country, followed by India and Russia.

Wheat from India is exported to Nepal, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates.