Will there be shortage of wheat in Gujarat due to fall in production?

Dilip Patel, 5 May 2022
There has been a significant increase in India’s wheat exports due to the Ukraine-Russia war. Due to increase in global demand, farmers of the country are getting higher prices of wheat. Which are mostly sold in the open market. Wheat procurement is decreasing in government mandis. Also, due to the scorching heat this year, there has been a decline in the yield of wheat. Will there be wheat crisis in the country?


In Gujarat, wheat was sown in 13.66 lakh hectares in 2021, while in winter 2022, 12.54 lakh hectares were sown. There has been a decline in plantation in 1.12 lakh hectares. Two years ago the 3-year average was 11.90 lakh hectares.

Apart from South Gujarat, wheat is cultivated in Central, North Gujarat and Saurashtra.

The Agriculture Department estimates that the production in Gujarat will be 40.58 lakh tonnes in 2021-2022. The production per hectare is estimated at 3235 kg.
In 2020-21, 43.79 lakh tonnes of wheat was expected to be produced in 13.66 lakh hectares. The productivity was expected to be 3204.77 kg.

decrease in production
Thus, Gujarat Agriculture Department has estimated that the production will be 3.21 lakh tonnes less than last year. It is said that the production per hectare decreases by 10 kg.

However, farmers say that winter is not cold enough to cut production by 25 per cent. According to him, 11 lakh tonnes less wheat can be harvested.

export to india
India exported wheat worth a record 2.12 billion US dollars in 2021-22. Which is at least four times more than the wheat exported in 2020-21. Wheat exports to states are set to cross 10 million tonnes of post-harvest production.

In contrast, government procurement centers do not procure wheat from the Minimum Support Price (MSP). There are no long queues of farmers to sell wheat crop in the market.

Disinfector machine, used to clean wheat.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, India’s wheat exports have increased by 273%. which has quadrupled.

Farmers in wheat-producing states are worried about low crop yields this year.

One acre of land produces 25 to 30 quintals of wheat. But this year the production is only a little less than 20 quintals. Production is less in March due to scorching heat. Yields have been affected due to unseasonal rains during the sowing season in October.

At least three to four quintals per acre less than last year.

The Government of India is announcing an increase in the export of wheat.
India plans to export 3 million tonnes of wheat to Egypt and 10 million tonnes globally in 2022-23. The war between Ukraine and Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, has boosted exports.

The country is predicting a wheat crisis in the coming months.

Decline in wheat procurement in India
Food Corporation of India has procured about 2.055 million metric tonnes of wheat during the sunny season from major wheat producing states till April 11, 2022.

Exactly a year ago, on 12 April 2021, the wheat procurement figure was 2.924. Thus this year there has been less procurement of 0.869 million metric tonnes in wheat procurement. Market prices are high.

He said if exports pick up with time, prices may go up this year. There is normal inflationary pressure in the domestic market. Rising fuel prices are responsible. Food prices have also increased in recent months. Which may continue in future also.

Inadequate procurement by the state. MSP Rs. 2,015 per quintal. In the open market it is Rs. 2,100 to 3000 per quintal sold.

Siraj Hussain, a visiting fellow at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations in New Delhi, and Shweta Saini, an independent researcher, wrote in a recent article that wheat procurement figures do not paint a positive picture.

Only 30,000 tonnes of wheat was procured till April 18, 2022 as against 3 lakh tonnes last year. Procurement in Madhya Pradesh is only half as compared to last year.

But Avinash Kishor, associate research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, a research-based policy solutions think tank, ruled out any possibility of a wheat crisis in the country.

The prices of chemical fertilizers, fuel, diesel, petrol, irrigation cost, harvesting cost, bringing food grains to the market, labor cost have increased. As a result, the price of wheat increases.

The wheat crisis will decide how much buffer stock the government has against exports of 10 million tonnes this year. A similar crisis came in 2006. Then the government also had to import. There was not enough stock.

Mass public distribution of food grains to the poor was started in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and was aimed at providing five kilograms (kg) of free wheat or rice per person per month. Hence there may be a need for more stock of wheat.

This year also the government can buy 250-300 LMT (25-30 MMT).

There is hope,” he assured

According to FCI data, the current wheat stock with the central government in April 2022 is 18.99 million metric tonnes. Which is higher than the buffer norms of 7.46 MMT. PDS provides 245 LMT (24.5 MMT) of wheat per year. This amount is approximately 189 LMT per annum.

Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have less income

Wheat yield in Punjab has declined by more than five quintals per hectare. Last year was 48.68 quintals per hectare. Which has increased to 43 quintals this year. Climate change has already had a negative impact on wheat and maize yields globally.