Govt forecasts record food grains output of 273.38 mt
With the government predicting record foodgrain production in 2016-17, it seems the production estimates would help in containing food inflation as well as reducing the import dependency for essential grains.
While releasing the third advance estimates of production of major crops for 2016-17, the Agriculture Ministry has estimated total foodgrain production in the country at 273.38 MT, which is 8.7 per cent up from the previous record production of 265.04 MT in 2013-14.
In a major relief, the output of price sensitive pulses has jumped to 22.40 MT, which is 37 per cent increase from previous year. According to foodgrain production estimates, the Agriculture Ministry's revised total estimated foodgrain production of 273.38 MT is more than one million tonnes of what it had estimated in its second advance estimate in February (271.98 MT). According to an official in the agriculture ministry, the figure of overall foodgrain production has been revised on the basis of the ground report of the record production of wheat.
After witnessing a good rainfall during monsoon 2016 and several other policy initiatives of the government, the ministry had in February estimated the total foodgrain production at 271.98 MT, which was 6.94 MT more than the previous record production of foodgrain of 265.04 MT during 2013-14.
Hoping similar monsoon this year too, the ministry had last month set a target of foodgrain production at 273 MT for the 2017-18 crop year and expressed confidence of maintaining farm sector growth rate of over 4 per cent during the period.
The target for next crop year (2017-18) was made after the recent prediction of normal and well-distributed monsoon rainfall (during June-September period) by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The ministry had, however, on Monday asked states to review their preparedness for the upcoming kharif season so that they can take contingency measures on time in case prediction of normal monsoon goes wrong. Though the IMD has predicted normal monsoon this year, it will be able to come out with an update of time and region-specific distribution of rainfall early next month.
Keeping such uncertainties in mind, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh had on Monday wrote to the chief ministers of states-UTs for review of the state of preparedness in managing weather related contingency, if any, in advance so that the possible adverse impact of sub-par rainfall on the farmers can be mitigated.