With sops promised, wheat acreage to rise despite poor rains

Despite poor rains in the Central states, wheat plantation is likely to increase this year in India as higher Minimum Support Price (MSP) and bonus incentives offered by some states are enticing farmers to switch from pulses to wheat. Wheat acreage is likely to go up in the northern region, mainly in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

“Wheat growing area is likely to go up in India as farmers in states like Madhya Pradesh are driven by the bonus announced by the state government over and above the MSP. This year, farmers are likely to reduce sowing of pulses and move to the cereal for higher remuneration this season,” Dr Gynanendra Pratap Singh, director of Karnal-based wheat and barley research institute arm of Indian Council of Agricultural Research said.

In Punjab and Haryana, which contribute 45 per cent of wheat towards national food safety, sowing has been completed in over 95 per cent of the 60 lakh hectares area. Wheat acreage is expected to remain the same in Punjab and Haryana, where it is the predominant Rabi crop. “Sowing is competed in the state, apart from cotton. Wheat sowing may extend till December 15,” additional director extension Suresh Gahlawat said. Cotton is grown on around 6.5 lakh hectares in the state.

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