State’s contribution to the central pool is likely to be higher than the last year in the upcoming Rabi procurement season that is expected to commence from April 1 onwards.
Sharing the information, experts from the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) said, “While state’s contribution was 103.44 lakh tonne in 2015 according to the Food Corporation of India (FCI), experts expect it to be around 110 lakh tonnes this year. This will be approximately 7 lakh tonnes higher than the last year.
Low temperature for a longer period is being viewed as one of the core reasons behind the higher contribution. “The temperature has been very low for several weeks, which actually favours wheat crop in its maturity. So, it’s simple: lower the temperature, higher the yield. Apart from this, timely sowing of wheat and appropriate irrigation has also helped,” said economist Mohinder Singh Sidhu
.“Punjab has 18% share of wheat production in the country and 2.5% production of the world and like each year, Punjab will remain on top this year too as far as its central pool share is concerned. It can be said that food security of the country is in the hands of the Punjab farmers albeit they have been facing enormous stress and facing several issues for the last few years,” Sidhu added.
PAU former V-C SS Johal said, “So far, wheat crop has matured well, which is why higher yield is obvious as compared to the last year. Grain quality will also be better, but we should hope that coming weeks as well also remain dotted with favourable weather for wheat till harvesting.”
“It is rainy days along with high velocity of winds that can damage the crop. In March, the last month of maturing - weather should neither be very cold, nor very hot. According to field visits by different agricultural development officers in different districts, we are expecting a higher yield. It has also been agreed in a recent joint meeting of different district agriculture development officers,” said Sukhpal Singh Sekhon, district agricultural officer.
Meanwhile, in 2012-13 Punjab’s contribution of 128.34 to central pool has been the highest from 1966 to 2015 according to the FCI records.