Wheat is one of the oldest crops domesticated in the world. Wheat cultivation was reported to have began in the ancient period between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is today Iraq. Evidence suggests that, wheat was being used for bread in Egypt by 5000 BC and wheat cultivation had spread to Europe by 4000 BC. Domestic wheat originated in southwest Asia. Wheat cultivation in India dates back to pre-historic times.
Wheat is the third largest cereal produced in the world after corn and rice. It is more widely consumed as staple food in the world than any other cereal either in the form of bread, pasta or in any other processed form like biscuits etc.
Although a number of species of wheat recognized in the world, only three species of wheat namely; Triticumaestivum (Bread wheat)
,T. durum (Macaroni wheat) and T. dicoccum (Emmer wheat) are commercially cultivated in India.
Economically Important Product:
Wheat, like any other cereal, is grown for its carbohydrate rich seeds or endosperm.
It’s used as a staple food for almost all parts of the world in the form bread and other food preparations as well as processed foods.
Climate and Cultivation
Wheat is a major rabi cereal largely grown in the Northern parts of the country. Wheat is grown in all types of soils but well suited for well drained fertile clay loams. Wheat comes up well under sub-tropical conditions. Cool and sunny winters are highly conducive for wheat cultivation with an optimum temperature of about 20o to 25oC.
Muzaffarnagar, Agra, Ambala, Panchkula, Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat, Ajnala, Amritsar, Ujjain, Guna, Gwalior, Sehore, Sagar, Indore, Bhopal, Kota, Alwar, Jaipur, Sriganganagar, Dausa, Hanumangarh, Sikar, Baran, Bundi, Bharatpur.
Domestic: NMCE, NCDEX and MCX.
Wheat being an essential commodity, its external trade is largely monitored by the government. Nevertheless, wheat exports have increased significantly since 2011-12 and continued in the subsequent years.
Major export destinations: UAE, Yemen, Bangladesh, Thailand, Oman, Djibouti
Major import sources: Australia and Russia
Factors Influencing Prices
- Carryover stocks: leftover stocks from the previous year’s production after meeting the demand.
- Expected demand: average level of consumption and exports during the past few years
- Crop acreage: Extent of area sown under the crop
- Production: Estimated output based on the acreage and weather conditions and pest infestation etc.,
- Imports and exports: the government has thoroughly controlled wheat trade, as it is a major foodgrain crop. Consequently, the imports and exports are also controlled depending on the requirement.
- Government policies: any change in government policy relating to the crops such as minimum support price etc.,
- Procurement: direct procurement by the government agencies and storage in warehouses change in tariff and base prices of externally traded goods will have a direct impact on the respective commodity prices.