Wheat production in the current rabi season would cross 100 million tonnes with the States reporting very good crop having was no incidence of diseases, said a top agriculture ministry official on Thursday.

“The recent rains have not affected the wheat crop. This year we would have the highest level of wheat production, which would more 100 tonnes production, which is higher than 99 million tonnes produced last year,” SK Malhotra, Agricultural Commissioner of India, on the sidelines of a meeting at FICCI.

India is now looking at productivity-led growth in production, not area-led growth, he said, adding that the area under wheat cultivation is 1 lakh hectares lower than the last rabi season, but the harvest is expected to be more. As per the data available from wheat-growing states, the area sown under the wheat crop this season was 297 lakh hectares. “From lesser area, we are producing more. This is the scenario that is emerging,” Malhotra said.

Also read:Wheat institute expects record output of 105 mt

“The latest rains received would prove to be a boon for getting a good plant growth and more tillering in the plant as this time we have a more prolonged winter season,” the Agriculture Commissioner said. In comparison, last year’s February was warmer than this year. The intermittent snowfall in the hills in the current season helped sustain lower temperatures, which are good for the wheat crop.

According to him, gram production too is expected to be good this year. This year, the total production of pulses is estimated to touch 25 million tonnes, which would be yet another year of bumper production. “In the coming years, we simply need to sustain such high levels,” Malhotra said.

Increasing oilseed production

Similarly, oilseeds production would touch 32-33 million tonnes this year, up from 31 million tonnes produced last year. “What we produce is enough to give give us only 10 million tonnes of edible oil, whereas the demand in the country is around 25 millions of oil,” Malhotra said.

In the last two-three years, the government has been trying to focus on increasing oilseeds production by making use of some of the rice fallow land available in the country. “This year we have given six States in the country the target of putting 1.8 million hectares of rice fallow land into oilseeds, millets and pulses cultivation. Slowly, we would be able to increase oilseeds production through meaningful intervention,” he said.