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Record foodgrain, oilseed output likely this year

According to the agriculture ministry’s second advance estimates of crop production for this year, total foodgrain output will surpass the previous all-time-high of 2013-14.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
February 16, 2017 1:02:13 am
foodgrain, foodgrain production, agriculture, india agriculture, agriculture stats, india news. oilseeds, india oilseeds production, business news A more authentic picture of production will be available after April-May when the current standing rabi crop starts arriving in the markets.

India’s production of foodgrains and oilseeds is expected to hit record levels in 2016-17 on the back of a normal southwest monsoon and a decent winter, which would more than offset the impact, if any, of demonetisation.

According to the agriculture ministry’s second advance estimates of crop production for this year released on Wednesday, total foodgrain output at 271.98 million tonnes (mt) will surpass the previous all-time-high of 265.04 mt achieved in 2013-14, while registering a sharp jump from the 252.02 mt and 251.57 mt levels for the consecutive drought-hit years of 2014-15 and 2015-16, respectively.

Indian farmers are seen to harvest record crops of rice (108.86 mt), wheat (96.64 mt), coarse cereals (44.34 mt) led by maize (26.15 mt), and pulses (22.14 mt, including arhar/tur or pigeon-pea at 4.23 mt, urad or black gram at 2.89 mt and moong or green gram at 2.13 mt).

Production of oilseeds is, likewise, estimated at a record 33.60 mt in 2016-17, recovering from the preceding two years’ lows of 25.25 mt and 27.51 mt. Groundnut output is pegged at 8.47 mt (up from last year’s 6.73 mt), while similarly rising from 6.80 mt to 7.91 mt for rapeseed-mustard and from 8.57 mt to 14.13 mt for soyabean.

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On the other hand, both cotton and sugarcane production are expected to take a hit — the former from acreage diversion in Punjab and Gujarat, due to whitefly/pink bollworm attacks suffered by growers in 2015, and the latter on account of drought-induced lower plantings in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The Agriculture Ministry has projected cotton output to increase only marginally to 325.07 lakh bales (of 170 kg each) in 2016-17, as against 300.05 lakh bales, 348.05 lakh bales and 359.02 lakh bales in 2015-16, 2014-15 and 2013-14, respectively. Sugarcane production is slated to drop to 309.98 mt, the lowest since the 292.30 mt recorded way back in 2009-10.

A more authentic picture of production will be available after April-May when the current standing rabi crop starts arriving in the markets. Krishi Bhawan’s estimates have been under cloud in recent times, especially with its production figures for wheat in 2015-16. While the trade put last year’s output at not more than 85 mt, based on actual mandi arrivals and government procurement volumes, the agriculture ministry has maintained a figure of 92.29 mt even in its final estimates.

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First published on: 16-02-2017 at 01:02:13 am
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