Food secretary says not expecting any shortfall in wheat production

New Delhi [India], April 6 (ANI): Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra on Thursday said the government does not expect any shortfall in wheat production.
On reports of wheat crop loss in some states due to bad weather, Sanjeev Chopra said the country would “probably end up with the same figure of 112 million tonnes of production or in the worst case scenario, there will be a negligible drop in the production”.

Department of Food and Public Distribution’s Secretary Chopra said, “There have been some reports from Punjab and Haryana of loss of wheat crop due to bad weather, but the shortfall due to the bad weather which we are anticipating is very nominal. Loss in wheat production will be very, very minimal, states are preparing the reports. We are still yet to get the report.”

The secretary stressed that lower temperatures were observed over the past two weeks and going forward, any high temperatures are not anticipated over the next two weeks. “So, these are extremely conducive at this stage of the cultivation,” he added.

He said, “We are anticipating this wherever harvest has not yet taken place in areas like UP (Uttar Pradesh) and Bihar where the weather actually helps this particular crop a lot.”

Chopra said, “So, while there may be some production loss in Punjab and Haryana, which is now being estimated, but the gain we’ll have in the yield in other parts of the country, particularly in the areas where there is late sowing.”

He added, “So, we find that we would probably end up about the same figure of 112 million tonnes of production or in the worst-case scenario, there will be a negligible drop in the production.”

“With regard to the procurement we have a target of 342 lakh tonnes of procurement for this particular rabi and having discussed with the state govt and dept of agriculture we feel that this particular target is achievable and are hoping that procurement will pickup,” Chopra said.

Chopra said, “For sugar, our estimates are about 386 lakh tonne production. We are anticipating that little bit of shortfall because of some unseen reasons in Maharashtra and it could go down by 2-4 lakh tonne.”

Talking about prices of pulses and edible oil, the secretary said that a committee in the department of consumer affairs is monitoring the situation of pulses. Pulses prices are fairly range-bound, he said, adding, “We have not seen any sharp spurt in recent days. The mechanism put in place by the department of consumers affairs is working very well. Edible oil prices are also very stable. None of the edible oils like groundnut, mustard, palm oil or soyabean have seen any appreciable jump over the past couple of months.” (ANI)



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