Higher wheat, paddy area to boost output
Wheat area rose to 28.42 million hectares until January 13, compared with 28.34 million hectares a year earlier, according to the farm ministry data.
Winter paddy planting inched up by 4% to 661,000 hectares during the period.
Higher areas and conducive weather will help the country reap a bumper wheat harvest for a third successive year in the crop year through June 2012, sources said. India produced 85.93 million tonne of wheat in 2011-12. Larger wheat and rice supplies will also help the country meet its grain output target of 245 million tonne during 2011-12.
Higher wheat and rice supplies offer the government adequate leeway to extend subsidised grain sales to 75% of rural and 50% of urban households through the food security Act, and also leave some scope for exports. However, areas under winter coarse cereals, oilseeds and pulses are lagging last year’s level.
Coarse cereals areas declined 5.5% to 5.63 million hectares until January 6, while oilseed areas are down 5.4% to 8.09 million hectares. Pulses coverage fell marginally to 14.06 million hectares from 14.23 million hectares.
India usually imports less than a fifth of annual pulses requirement and around half of vegetable oil consumption to feed its growing billion-plus population. The country, however, is largely self-sufficient in cereals.
India cut imports of the
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