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India stands tall in gloomy world wheat scenario

Backed by good monsoon, India, the second largest producer of wheat in the world, is tipped to harvest a record 84.27 million tonnes of wheat in 2011, according to the agriculture ministry's third estimates

New Delhi: While other leading wheat producing countries like China and the US are witnessing a decline in output, India has stood as an exception with an estimated record production of 84.27 million tonnes of the staple foodgrain this year, reports PTI.

Except for India, all the leading wheat growing countries like China, Russia, US, Canada and Australia are witnessing a downturn.

"India is gaining internationally in the wheat production," SS Singh, project director of Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR) told PTI today. DWR is a Karnal-based institute affiliated to the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Backed by good monsoon, India, the second largest producer of wheat in the world, is tipped to harvest a record 84.27 million tonnes of wheat in 2011, according to the agriculture ministry's third estimates.

But, the international scenario is not encouraging. China, the leading wheat producer in the world, is tipped to register a 2% fall at 113 million tonnes in wheat production in 2011 compared to an year ago period. Wheat output of China was 115.1 million tonnes in 2010.

Likewise, US, Russia, Canada, Australia, Argentina and Iran are reported to see a drop in wheat cultivation this year, according to available data. While US, the third largest wheat producer of the world is expected to see a 3.5% decline in production of the staple crop in 2011 as compared to last year, the same in Australia is tipped to be 2.3% down during the period, the data suggests.

Mr Singh said reports reveal that drop in wheat production internationally is mainly due to spread of yellow rust disease and harsh climate. Reports reveal that prolonged snowfall season in China damaged the staple food crop in that country, he added.

But, amid gloomy world scenario in wheat production, India stands as an exception. Wheat output in India was 80.7 million tonnes in 2009 which rose to 80.8 million tonnes in 2010. The country is set to harvest a record 84.27 million tonnes of chief rabi produce in 2011.

Mr Singh said due to timely measures initiated by the government the rust disease, which is among oldest disease known to man, had no impact in India. Besides, favourable weather is helping in bumper harvest of the crop, he added.

Owing to bumper wheat cultivation this year, suggestions are pouring from a section of the government as well traders that the country should lift ban on wheat export imposed in 2007 to cash in on this opportunity.

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