New Delhi: Knitting an unrealistic dream, the government is expecting record yield as a result of the recent showers in spite of the decline in acreage under rabi crops. However, the reduction of 12 lakh hectares of land is bound to affect the production of wheat, cereals, pulses and oilseeds in the country.

On the contrary, Agriculture Secretary PK Basu has claimed, “The current spell of rains in some parts of the country will improve prospects for wheat and other rabi crops, paving the way for a record output this year”.

Uncertainty still looms large on the availability of additional foodgrain required under the Food Safety Bill. The bill is expected to sail through the Parliament and get implemented in April 2012. 

However, the wheat-producing states beginning the sowing of rabi crops are crying over the lack of fertilizers. The Ministry of Agriculture has also accepted the shortage of fertilizers leading to delayed sowing.
 
Moreover, the condition of pulses and oilseeds is worse as their sowing season has already ended. While there is a decline of 75,000 hectares of acreage under pulses, area under oilseed crops has been reduced by 5.30 lakh hectares. Though back wheat sowing is still ongoing in some states, but the sowing areas have already reduced by 1.5 lakh hectares. Upto 3.5 lakh hectares decline of acreage under cereals has also been observed.

Instead of being concerned on the decreasing sowing area, expressing extreme happiness on the recent rainfall in some parts of the country, Basu said, “If the weather remains the same, a new yield record can be achieved.” He expressed confidence that a record foodgrain production of 24.5 crore tonnes in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June) is achievable.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, east Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Mahrashtra have received rainfall in last few days.

JPN/Bureau