The production of wheat is estimated to come down to 106.84 million tonnes in 2021-22 from 109.59 million tonnes in 2020-21, according to the Fourth Advance Estimates of Production of Foodgrains for 2021-22 released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on Wednesday.
In a statement, the ministry said, “Production of Wheat during 2021-22 is estimated at 106.84 million tonnes. It is higher by 2.96 million tonnes than the last five years’ average wheat production of 103.88 million tonnes.”
The estimated wheat production figure for 2021-22 is 2.87 per cent lower than the target of 110 million tonnes. It is also lower than the total wheat output of 107.86 million tonnes in 2019-20.
The dip in production comes at a time when the Food Corporation of India’s wheat stocks have depleted to a 14-year low. According to information on the FCI website, wheat stocks stood at 26.645 million tonnes as on August 1, 2022, which is the lowest since August 2009, when the figure stood at 31.623 million. The dip in stock is due to lower procurement — 18.794 million tonnes during the current rabi marketing season — and higher outflow on account of allocation of wheat under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) during the last two years.
According to the ministry, overall foodgrain production in the country is estimated to reach a new high of 315.72 million tonnes in 2021-22, which is higher than the target of 307.31 million tonnes for the year. It is also higher than the total foodgrain output of 310.74 million tonnes recorded in 2020-21.
Of the total estimated foodgrain production in 2021-22, rabi production accounts for 159.68 million tonnes, while kharif output accounts for 156.04 million tonnes.
“Record production is estimated of rice, maize, gram, pulses, rapeseed and mustard, oilseeds and sugarcane,” the ministry statement read.
According to the fourth advance estimates, “The estimated production of major crops during 2021-22 is as under: foodgrains 315.72 million tonnes, rice 130.29 million tonnes (record), wheat 106.84 million tonnes, nutri/coarse cereals 50.90 million tonnes, maize 33.62 million tonnes (record), pulses 27.69 million tonnes (record), tur 4.34 million tonnes, gram 13.75 million tonnes (record), oilseeds 37.70 million tonnes (record), groundnut 10.11 million tonnes, soyabean 12.99 million tonnes, rapeseed and mustard 11.75 million tonnes (record), sugarcane 431.81 million tonnes (record), cotton 31.20 million bales (each of 170 kg), jute and mesta 10.32 million bales (each of 180 kg),” the statement said.
According to the statement, the total production of rice during 2021-22 is estimated to be a record 130.29 million tonnes. It is higher by 13.85 million tonnes than the last five-year average production of 116.44 million tonnes.
Commenting on the foodgrain production figures, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the record production of several crops is the result of what he described as farmer-friendly policies of the government as well as the “tireless hard work” of the farmers and the diligence of the scientists.