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'06 Wheat output estimated at 69.4 MT

The latest estimate is lower by 2.5 million tonne and the decline is attributed to a rise in temperature.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2006 16:20 IST

The Governmenton Friday put final wheat production estimate at 69.4 million tonne for this year, which is lower by 2.5 million tonne than the initial estimate.

"The initial wheat production estimate has been brought down by 2.5 million tonne this year," Agriculture Secretary Radha Singh told reporters in New Delhi.

The normal temperature rose by three to five degrees during January-March period when the wheat crop was in the grain filling stage, she said.

The secretary put the loss of wheat quantity due to rise in temperature at 5-7 million tonne.

On wheat output target of 74 million tonne for the last Rabi season, she said, "It was only a projected figure."

She said a lot of confusion arose on wheat estimates as flashing imaginary production figures only creates more speculation in the market for the foodgrain commodity.

To avoid rise in temperature by the end of winter, she said the wheat growers would be asked to sow by at least 15 days ahead of usual sowing schedule this year.

The secretary also said an all out efforts involving the major wheat producing states would be made in the coming Rabi season to ensure that the final production increased at least by 4.5-5 million tonne.

First Published: Sep 16, 2006 16:16 IST