Centre questions Punjab’s low-wheat yield projection

By Ruchika M Khanna

The state government has been asked by the Centre to explain the reason for low-projected yield of wheat as compared to market arrivals, which are now showing an increase in yield by six to seven quintals per acre. It is learnt that the information is being sought by the Centre to make a case for either lifting or continuing the ban on wheat export. Currently, the export of the grain is banned, even though global demand for wheat continues to be high.

Based on the crop-cutting experiments done by the Agriculture Department, the state government had informed the Centre that the average yield would be around 47.25 quintals per hectare (19 quintals per acre). However, with the wheat procurement nearing its end, more than 125 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat has already arrived in the mandis, signifying a bumper harvest with high yield.

Official sources in the Agriculture Department have said information has been sought from three districts — Moga, Faridkot and Ferozepur — where the actual wheat production is much higher at 55-57 quintals per hectare (24 quintals per acre). Information gathered by The Tribune shows that 6.92 LMT of wheat has arrived so far in Moga, 4.60 LMT in Faridkot and 7.88 LMT in Ferozepur.

The sources said when the overall average yield estimate for the state was originally sent to the Centre, crop-cutting experiments were conducted in some fields where the standing crop had been impacted by unseasonal rains in March-end.

Director (Agriculture) Gurvinder Singh said they are getting the report of yield from 100 farmers each again in Moga, Faridkot and Ferozepur. “A final report will be sent to the Centre soon,” he said.

This article has been republished from The Tribune

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