Located in Asia, India is the second largest wheat producer in the world. However, despite this, to cater to its high consumption needs, the country contributes a meagre 1% in the global wheat trade. Though Mr. Arun Kumar Joshi, managing director, Borlaug Institute of South Asia and the Country Representative of International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) expects that to change with hopes of a bumper wheat harvest this year.
Indian wheat has gained considerable international attention of late, owing to Russia-Ukraine war and unexpected changes in the global climatic conditions and trade systems and the Wheat Exporters of the country could leverage that to grow their business and to support the country’s GDP as well.
Unlike last rabi season, when Indian wheat production saw a decline, Arun Kumar Joshi believe that since there is no trace of any insect, disease or locust, India is set to have a record wheat production this time around and the country should prepare itself for wheat exports.
Increased Domestic Wheat Production Anticipated
Mr. Arun Kumar Joshi, in an interview said that on the basis of interaction with farmers so far, the wheat production seems to be in a good state. He cited that as per government estimates, wheat have been sown over 34 million hectares of land and also there have been no trace of insect or other disease at present that could hamper the domestic wheat production. Irrigation systems have also improved and better input supply management by the government have all proved to be beneficial for wheat production.
Mechanization: The Key
Answering a question about if farmers are well equipped this time around to handle unexpected climate changes, Mr. Arun Kumar Joshi said that mechanization is the key for farmers. They should be able to harvest and store the food crops as soon as they are ready. He also said that, the wheat varieties are heat-tolerant, however they are unlikely to survive if the temperature soars up to 40 degrees.
The Bottom Line
Despite late monsoon in many parts of India, Mr. Arun Kumar Joshi is optimistic about bumper wheat production this year and he has solid reasons for it as well. Increase in wheat planting area, lack of trace of any insect, disease or locust and healthy soil conditions all signal that India is set to have a bumper wheat harvest this year.
Mr. Arun Kumar Joshi believes that the wheat exporters of the country should brace and prepare themselves for exporters, given that the demand for Indian wheat is already high in the aftermath of Russia-Ukraine war.
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