Food grain output likely to touch new record in 2017-18 crop year
With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting normal monsoon for the second straight year, the country's foodgrain output is likely to touch a new record in the 2017-18 crop year to begin from July.
According to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, the foodgrain production is estimated to be all-time high at 273.38 million tonnes (MT) in the current 2016-17 crop year (July-June) on account of good rains after two years of drought, as against 251.57 MT last year. The previous record was 265.04 MT in 2013-14.
"The Met department has forecast normal monsoon for this year. If monsoon is good, I am confident that foodgrain output will be record again and boost growth rate to more than 4.4 per cent achieved in 2016-17," Singh said while sharing the government's achievements in the farm sector in last three years. The Met department forecast was accurate last year and "we hope it will be accurate this year as well," he said, adding that Southwest monsoon, vital for farm output and economic growth in India, has hit the Andaman and Nicobar islands three days early on May 14 and need to see if it will reach Kerala ahead of the schedule. The Agriculture Ministry has set foodgrain output target at record 273 MT for the 2017-18 crop year and expects to achieve 4 per cent farm sector growth following the prediction of normal monsoon. About 50 per cent of the foodgrain output comes from both kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons.
The Agriculture Minister further said that the initiatives taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the welfare of farmers and farm sector have started showing positive and encouraging results. The commitment of the Modi government towards the welfare of the farmers is resulting in qualitative improvement in the lives of farmers. "The ministry is working to double farmers' income by 2022, a goal set by the Prime Minister," Singh said.
"During UPA government, the expenditure made by the ministry used to be less than the budgetary allocation as during the year 2011-12 budgetary allocation was Rs 24,526 crore and the amount spent was just Rs 23,290 crore. Similarly, in the year 2012-13, Rs 24, 630 crore spent against budgetary allocation was Rs.28, 284 crore," he said.