India is the second largest wheat producer in the world and the country last year commanded a 14.14% share in the total wheat production. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Gujarat are the major wheat-producing states of India as they receive ample rainfall every year needed for Wheat Production. The two most important wheat-growing zones in the country are the Ganga-Satluj plains in the northwest and the black soil region of the Deccan which have well-drained fertile loamy and clayey loamy soils.
Farmers said that the late rains in October raised soil moisture levels and helped farmers to increase the area under wheat, rapeseed, and other crops. As per the Government’s data, Indian farmers have planted wheat on 15.3 million hectares since October 1, 2022, when the current sowing season began which is an increase of about 11% from the previous year.
Wheat growing rose by almost 10% by 11th November ’22 as against the same period in the previous year with higher acreage reported from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh among the major wheat-growing states. Usually, in the full season, wheat is planted on 30.5-31 million hectares every year, and in 2022 the talk is that acreage might rise by 10-15% due to favorable market conditions.
Mustard has been planted in around 5.53 million hectares, which is around 15% more than in the same period last year, while gram (chana) has been sown in about 3.95 million hectares, marginally more than in the same period last year. Till 18th November ’22, rabi crops were planted on around 18 million hectares, 5.51% more than in the same period in the previous year. The area under rapeseed, the main winter-sown oilseed, was 6.3 million hectares, up from last year’s 5.5 million hectares. The total area of winter-sown crops stood at 26.9 million hectares as of 18th November ’22, higher than last year’s 25.1 million hectares.
Higher Acreage Has Driven A Temporary Shortage Of Fertilizers The higher production of wheat and other main rabi crops like mustard has created a temporary shortage of main fertilizers like Diammonium phosphate (DAP) and urea in the market making farmers hurry to plant crops early in order to take advantage of residual moisture in the soil. However, the government and fertilizer company officials have said nutrient supplies are adequate.
Since the conflict between Russia-Ukraine and the post covid scenario, prices of various agricultural commodities have been soaring in the global markets. Thus in order to benefit from the higher prices and favorable environmental conditions, farmers have worked to increase acreage.
Benefits Of A Higher Acerage
The prices of wheat touched a new high of almost Rs 2,700 per quintal in North India’s markets due to high demand and no release of government stocks(restrictions) through open market sales helping traders to benefit more from their stock holdings.
Sources said that according to the current stock position of wheat with the Government in the central pool, 2-3 million tonnes could be liquidated which would help in cooling the market. Flour millers have been asking for such liquidation for a while and now, the increased production would help fulfill domestic requirements and complete export orders which were earlier restricted due to lower production.
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