With the first kharif foodgrain estimate projecting an all-time high production, it seems the country would not face any shortage of foodgrains in the coming years. According to latest estimate, the country would have 135.03 million tonnes foodgrain production in the kharif season (summer sown) of 2016-17, which is 9 per cent rise in total production.
Foodgrain production stood at 124.01 million tonnes (mt) in the kharif season of 2015-16 crop year (July-June). Higher output of pulses will help soften retail prices, which have remained a major concern.
The country’s overall foodgrain production had fallen to around 252 mt level in each of the previous two full crop years (including kharif and rabi) due to two consecutive years of drought.
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Thursday released the first advance estimate of foodgrain output for the current 2016-17 crop year. Harvesting of kharif crops has started. According to the data, rice production is estimated at an all-time high 93.88 mt in the kharif season as against 91.31 mt in the last kharif.
Production of pulses, whose retail prices have risen sharply due to a fall in production in the last two years, is pegged at a record 8.7 mt in kharif this year, up 57 per cent from 5.54 mt in the previous kharif. Higher market price and a sharp increase in the minimum support price encouraged farmers to boost pulse cultivation. “As a result of favourable monsoon rainfall, area and yield of most of the kharif crops is expected to be higher,” Singh said.
“Consequently, estimated production of most of the crops during the current kharif season is estimated to be higher as compared to their production as per 4th advance estimates for 2015-16,” an official statement said.
Coarse cereal production is estimated to grow to 32.45 mt in the kharif season, from 27.17 mt in the last kharif. Among pulses, production of both tur and urad is pegged at a record 4.29 mt and 2.01 mt, respectively, in this year’s kharif season.