Sunday, March 24, 2019

Wheat harvest expected to set new record

Wheat harvest – in the current fiscal year – is expected to set a new record as it is projected to exceed 2 million tonnes due to good rainfall in the season. The record wheat crop follows a bumper paddy harvest last summer.
Though, the government is planning to announce crop production estimates for the current fiscal year 2018-19 soon, wheat – the country’s third most common cereal crop after paddy and maize – harvest is expected to record a 7 per cent growth this year largely due to ‘good winter’ rainfall across the country, according Agriculture Ministry.
The good harvest of cereal crops is expected to not only increase farmer incomes and reduce rice import bill but also bring the inflation down. It will also push the economic growth because agriculture contributed to around 30 per cent to the gross domestic production (GDP). Wheat accounts for more than 7 per cent of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AGDP), according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
The bumper growth in cereal crop production is also expected to increase the agriculture sector’s growth rate by over 5 per cent this fiscal year pushing the overall GDP growth up. The government – through the budget – has tragetted to achieve 8 per cent GDP growth in the current fiscal year. The projected harvest is expected to generate revenues of more than Rs 45 billion based on the average price of wheat of Rs 22 per kg at the current price.
The country witnessed a record wheat output of 1.97 million tonnes in the fiscal year 2014-15. But the rainfall dependent production plunged by 12.1 per cent to a six-year low of 1.73 million tonnes in the fiscal year 2015-16. Due to good rain, harvests jumped by 6 per cent in the fiscal year 2016-17, reaching 1.84 million tonnes. Wheat production stood at a record 1.93 million tonnes in the last fiscal year, making it the second biggest wheat harvest in the country’s history also due to improved varieties of wheat seeds that boost productivity. Nearly 45 per cent of the wheat acreage is now covered by improved seeds."

Annual Wheat Harvest
Year          Output (in tonnes)
2018-19     2.08 million
2017-18     1.94 million
2016-17     1.84 million
2015-16     1.73 million
2014-15     1.97 million
2013-14     1.88 million
2012-13     1.88 million
2011-12     1.84 million
2010-11     1.74 million
2009-10     1.55 million
(Source: Agriculture Ministry)

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