India’s wheat production is likely to fall 3% to 106.41 million tonnes this year from last year’s output of 109.59 million tonnes, the Hindustan Times reported on Friday, citing the Union agriculture ministry’s third advance estimates of output of food grains.

Severe heatwaves across many wheat-producing states have resulted in a dip in the production of the staple grain this year. The low figures were reported after five consecutive years of a record harvest.

On May 13, India banned wheat exports to control the rising prices of the crop in the country.

Earlier this month, the Union government had also announced a reduction in the amount of wheat to be allocated to states and Union Territories from May to September under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. The reduced quota of wheat will be made up for with rice.

While announcing the reduction of wheat allotment to states, the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution had said that the production in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh has been low due to early summer and shrivelled grain. Farmers and traders were also hoarding some wheat expecting higher prices of the grain, the ministry added.

Mitigating impact of high wheat prices

Amid a rise in wheat prices in the global markets, India on Thursday said that it was committed to ensure that the adverse impact on food security is effectively mitigated, PTI reported.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan made the comment while speaking at the UN Security Council open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security – conflict and food security.

“Even those like India, who have adequate stocks, have seen an unjustified increase in food prices,” he said. “It is clear that hoarding and speculation is at work. We cannot allow this to pass unchallenged.”

Within days of India banning its exports of the grain, wheat prices rose globally on fears of disruption in supply due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which had accounted for 12% of global exports. India had said it was ready to help meet the supply shortages caused by the Ukraine war.