Millennium Post

Govt eyes record 285.2 MT foodgrain output in 2018-19

New Delhi: The government has set a target of record 285.2 million tonne (MT) foodgrain production in the 2018-19 crop year despite deficit rains so far this monsoon.

India harvested a record 284.83 MT of foodgrain in the 2017-18 crop year (July-June).

The target for 2018-19 crop year was set at a conference called on Tuesday for preparing strategies for Rabi (winter-sown) crop.

"Despite patchy monsoon rains, we are expecting higher production in Kharif season," Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said at the conference here. Harvesting of Kharif (summer-sown) crops will begin from end of this month and sowing of Rabi crops will start thereafter.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), rain deficit in the current monsoon season beginning June is 9 per cent below the normal.

According to a senior agriculture ministry official, the target for rice has been set at 113 MT in 2018-19 crop year as against record 112.91 MT last year. Wheat output target has been set at 100 MT from record 99.7 MT in 2017-18.

The Centre has set a target of 46.7 MT of coarse cereals production as against 46.99 MT last crop year.

Pulses production target has been kept at 25 MT from an all-time high output of 25.23 MT in 2017-18.

Among non-foodgrain crops, the target of oilseeds has been fixed at 36 MT from 31.31 MT in the 2017-18 crop year.

Cotton production target has been fixed at 35.5 million bales (170 kg each) while that of sugarcane at 355 MT. In the last crop year, cotton production stood at 34.89 million bales (of 170 kg each) and sugarcane at 376.91 MT.

At the conference, Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak said the government has set a target of doubling farmers' income by 2022.

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