India

FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 3/01 - India

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Harvesting of wheat crop is underway and planting of coarse grains and Kharif rice for harvest in September/November has also begun. According to India Meteorological Department, the southwest monsoon rainfall for 2001 is likely to be normal. The cumulative rainfall for the period March 1 to May 16, 2001 has reportedly been normal in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, and Orissa. However, rainfall over Gujarat region and Saurastra and Kutch remained highly deficient. Under normal conditions, the monsoon season starts in early June and continues through September.
The rainfall deficiency in the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh reduced area planted for wheat, pulses and oilseeds. Unfavourable weather conditions are reported to have affected harvest in Haryana and Punjab, the country's wheat basket. As a result, the 2001/02 wheat output has been lowered to 68.5 million tonnes, down 7 million tonnes from last year's record crop.

The high level of foodgrain stocks is straining storage facilities and some exports of wheat and rice have reportedly been authorized by the Government to relieve pressure on storage space.