The government has revised downwards the estimate for wheat production by 5.7 percent to 105 million tonnes (MT) in the 2021-22 crop year ending June from the earlier projection of 111.32 MT, as crop productivity has been affected by the early onset of summer. Addressing a press conference, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said the Agriculture Ministry has revised the wheat production estimate downwards to 105 MT for the 2021-22 crop year from 111.3 MT earlier.
India's wheat production stood at 109.59 MT in the 2020-21 crop year (July-June). The lowering of estimates has been attributed to "early summer."
Pandey, however, said there is no case for controlling exports of wheat. The government's wheat procurement is expected to fall to 19.5 MT in the 2022-23 marketing year (April-March), much lower than the last year, due to several factors, including higher market prices of wheat in some states compared to the minimum support price (MSP), stocks being held by farmers and traders in anticipation of further price rise and lower production than estimated in some states.
Pandey said the government has allocated 55 lakh tonnes of additional rice in place of wheat to states for distribution under the government's free ration scheme PMGKAY.
The Centre has launched the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) to provide free foodgrains to over 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act as part of its efforts to help people during the coronavirus pandemic. Under the scheme, the Centre provides 5 kg of foodgrains per person per month free of cost. The additional free grain is over and above the normal quota provided under the NFSA at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kg.