African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

Enhancing farm profitability by growing wheat for chapatti quality markets in Haryana, India

David R. Coventry1, Randhir Singh Poswal2*, A. Yadav3, Ramesh Kumar Gupta2, B. S. Duggal4, R. S. Chhokar2, V. Kumar5, A. S. Riar2, Subash Chandra Gill2, Anuj Kumar2, Ramesh Kumar Sharma2, Ramesh Chand2, Sendhil R2, S. G. L. Kleemann1 and J. A. Cummins6
1School of Agriculture Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, SA, Australia. 2Directorate of Wheat Research, Agarsain Marg, Karnal-132001, Haryana, India. 3CSS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Haryana, India. 4State Department of Agriculture, Haryana, Panchkula, India. 5CSS Haryana Agricultural University, KVK, Bawal, Haryana, India. 6Rural Solutions SA, Australia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 September 2013
  •  Published: 12 December 2013

Abstract

In field experiments in six districts of Haryana, best practice management (including zero tillage and 3-way split application of N-fertiliser) provided small (2%) improvements in grain yield when compared with local farmer practice. This best practice management also gave consistent improvement in chapatti quality as measured by grain hardness (11.4%) and chapatti score (3.2%). Where a ‘shot-gun’ mix of micronutrients and sulphur was included with farmer practice treatment, or with best practice treatment, grain yield was increased by about 3% and there were further improvements in quality. Net returns were calculated for wheat production, the large cost saving associated with not undertaking the 4 cultivations used in local farmer practice, the best practice treatment was always the most profitable (by 9%), and even if no yield improvement was assumed this treatment would still be 6.7% more profitable. Even though it had a 30 to 40% yield penalty, the most profitable practice involved using variety C-306. This is an old wheat variety recognised as the standard for chapatti quality, and C-306 gets at least twice the market value of wheat sold at prices set as a minimum support price. High yields of wheat and its availability is an on-going priority for India, particularly for maintaining food security for the large population. Therefore, any wholesale change in production that moves farmers away from optimizing total grain production is untenable. However, 16 to 20% of farmers and consumers already have some direct marketing/purchasing of the wheat harvest via local markets, and these often involve quality considerations.

 

Key words: Chapatti quality, profitability, wheat marketing.