New Delhi: The government said on 3 April that delayed harvesting of wheat in some states would not be a “setback” and rather have a positive impact on yield, while pegging the foodgrain production for 2006-07 at 72.5 million tonnes.
“If it is delayed, productivity may go up slightly due to the climatic conditions,” agriculture secretary P K Mishra told reporters while discussing the preparedness for the coming Kharif sowing season.
On the output estimates, Mishra said, “We are confident of achieving the wheat production of 72.5 million tonnes” and added that the condition of wheat crop is good.
He said as of now the government stands by the second advance estimate of 72.5 million tonnes despite heavy rains and hailstorms last month and would firm up the figure after assessing the situation with states during the two-day meet. Wheat production last year was only 69.35 million tonnes.
Low production coupled with only 92.26 lakh tonnes of procurement against the targeted 162.07 lakh tonnes forced the government to import 55 lakh tonnes of wheat last year.
The government has set a target of procuring 151 lakh tonnes of wheat in the ongoing Rabi marketing season to meet its buffer stock requirement.
Food Corporation of India is confident of achieving the procurement target, which would take the total availability of wheat to 200 lakh tonnes, considering the 50 lakh tonnes of buffer stock as on 1April.
India’s wheat production this year may exceed the government’s forecast, helping slow inflation that’s running near a two-year high. Production may exceed 72.5 million tonnes in the year ending June, agriculture secretary P K Mishra said in New Delhi on 4 April.