India expected to harvest record wheat, rice crops this year

Bhardwaj by Mayank

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – This year, India is likely to harvest a historic 109,24 million tons of wheat, said the ministry of agriculture, further boosting government garnets inventories that are rapidly running out of supply due to over a decade of bumpers.

The second-largest producer in the world, India, is projected to rise by 1,3% in a crop year to June 2021, according to a second crop forecast for 2020/21 from the Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister.

It is projected that the rice production will grow by 1.2% to 120,32 million tons.

India is the world's largest exporter of rice and the second largest producer.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare reports the total grain production of this year at a record 303.34 million tonnes, compared with 297.5 million tonnes recorded in the previous year.

The harvest of rapeseed, the main oil-rich winter crop, is estimated at 10.4 million tons, above the 9.1 million tons of previous year's record.

The production of chickpeas, a variety of pulses, is potentially 11,62 million tons, relative to the previous year's 11,08 million tons.

Cutting the imports of costly vegetable oils and pulses – goods mostly missing in supply in India, the biggest importer of both cooking oils and protein-rich pulses worldwide – in rapeseed and chickpee production.

In addition, the production of bumper rice and wheat has bumped up local stocks thanks to high-yield seed varieties, increased farm mechanisms, and good weather.

Brim-full granaries have no additional capacity to accommodate new seasonal crops, in which food reserves can continue to be trickled and exposed to rain and rodents in the coming months.

Despite the bumpy harvests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government battled with rural unrest, with tens of thousands of farmers demonstrating against three new agricultural regulations passed in September.

(Mayank Bhardwaj's article. Jane Merriman's editing)