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Wheat output projected to fall 3% even as total foodgrain production eyes record high

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Wheat output projected to fall 3% even as total foodgrain production eyes record high

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Notably, the projected wheat production is lower by 4.61% from the earlier estimate for the 2021-22 crop year. The Agriculture Ministry had earlier attributed the fall to lower crop yields, mainly in Punjab and Haryana, due to the heat wave. Rice, oilseeds, pulses, meanwhile, are powering ahead.

Wheat output projected to fall 3% even as total foodgrain production eyes record high

The country's wheat output is estimated to drop by about 3 percent to 106.41 million tonnes (MT) in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) from the previous year, the Agriculture Ministry said in its latest estimate released on May 19. The production is, however, lower by 4.61 percent from the earlier estimate of 111.32 MT projected for the 2021-22 crop year, the data showed.

Wheat production stood at a record 109.59 MT in the 2020-21 crop year. Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja had last week attributed the fall in wheat production to lower crop yields, mainly in Punjab and Haryana, due to the heat wave. He had also indicated wheat production could decline to 105-106 MT this year.

According to the third advance estimate of foodgrain production released by the ministry, besides wheat, a marginal fall is expected in cotton and coarse cereals output. In case of other foodgrain and cash crops, the production figures are higher than the previous year. Rice production is estimated to increase to 129.66 MT in the 2021-22 crop year when compared with 124.37 MT in the previous year.

Pulses production is projected to increase to 27.75 MT in 2021-22 from 25.46 MT in 2020-21 crop year. Production of coarse cereals is expected to decline marginally to 50.70 MT from 51.32 MT in the comparable year.

Notwithstanding the likely fall in wheat and other two commodities' output, the country's overall foodgrain production is estimated to touch a new record at 314.51 MT in 2021-22 compared with 310.74 MT in the previous year. In case of oilseeds, production is estimated to be a record 38.49 MT in 2021-22 against 35.94 MT in the previous year.

As far as cash crops are concerned, the ministry pegged cane output at a record 430.4 MT this year against 405.39 MT in the previous year. Cotton output, however, is estimated to be lower at 31.54 million bales of 170 kg each in 2021-22 compared with 35.24 million bales in the previous year.

Jute and mesta production is expected to be 10.22 million bales of 180 kg each in 2021-22 compared with 9.35 million bales in the previous year, as per the ministry's latest estimate. The ministry releases three advance estimates of foodgrain production before the final one at different stages of harvesting.

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