Area under wheat to rise 4% on good rain, prices

Written by Commodities Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 17 2008, 05:55am hrs
Amid the gloom surrounding every sectors of the economy, agriculture has been constantly bucking the trend and the sector might get even better in the coming year if the governments projections come true. According to official sources, wheat acreage in the country, the largest foodgrain grown during the Rabi sowing season, is all tipped to rise by 3%-4% in 2009 due to a good monsoon and remunerative prices. Officials said that if the pace of sowing continued in the coming few weeks, the total area under wheat could be as high as 29.3 million hectare, up from last years actual acreage of 28.19 million hectare. The government had targeted to plant wheat over around 28.5 million hectare. Till December 12, wheat has been sown on around 21.36 million hectare, up from last years 20.47 million hectare.

Sowing in the Rabi season has been very good so far. If the pace continues in the coming few weeks, we hope that the area under wheat will be more than last year, said agriculture commissioner NB Singh. Already, government officials and traders are talking about a bumper wheat crop of close to 80 million tonne if the weather remains favourable during the growing season. A bumper wheat output in 2009, on the back of huge output in 2007 and 2008, could compel the government to lift the curbs on export of foodgrains and also relax stockholding limits.