Now the government faces a challenge of managing its surplus foodgrain stock which has reached a record high of 75.51 million metric tonnes as on January 1, 2020. The stocks are likely to increase further.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, as on January 16, 2020, wheat has been sown this rabi season in 330.20 lakh hectares — 33.23 lakh ha more than last year (296.98 lakh ha) and the highest ever since 1950-51, the year from which data is available. Earlier, the highest area under wheat was recorded 314.70 ha during 2014-15.
The report shows that during current rabi season, the area under pulses has been reported as 157.33 lakh ha — 7.80 lakh ha more than the last year (149.53 lakh ha).
The area under coarse cereals, too, has reported a substantial increase — from 46.88 lakh ha last rabi season to 53.19 lakh ha now. However, the area coverage of oilseeds is just marginally up, from 79.17 lakh ha in the last rabi season to 79.25 lakh ha now.
According to latest buffer norms, in place since July 2017, the Government has to maintain a stock of at least 21.04 million tonnes of foodgrains as on April 1; 41.12 million as on July 1; 30.7 million as on October 1 and 21.41 million as on January 1.