India has formulated an Action Plan to increase production and productivity of wheat by targeting 50% of wheat cultivation areas in 138 districts of Bihar , Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra , Rajasthan, Gujarat , Punjab , Haryana, and West Bengal . The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has planned interventions to demonstrate improved practices of cultivating wheat, replacing seeds at 33% from the present 13%, promoting the use of macronutrient and gypsum applications, encouraging the use of zero till machines, use of sprinklers. The MoA is also planning to subsidize diesel used for irrigation.
Revealing this plan while addressing the Consultative Committee Meeting of Members of Parliament for the Ministry of Agriculture, Federal Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar said that the languishing wheat production of 70 million tons (mt) can also be increased by adding an additional 1.4 million hectares. He identified Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat , Maharashtra , and West Bengal as states where additional wheat cultivation can be absorbed without displacing other crops like oilseeds and pulses. However, this would require investments in irrigation facilities and rejuvenation of soil conditions.
The estimated cost of this action plan would be Rs. 841 crore over a period of three years. Pawar says that while demand for wheat is estimated at 74.8 mt by 2011-12 and is also expected to go up by another 11.1 mt by 2017, the wheat production has been stagnated necessitating a policy review.