The agriculture ministry on Wednesday revised its earlier foodgrain output estimated by more than two million tonne (MT) to a record of 275.68 MT for the 2016-17 crop year (July-June) which is 9% more than the output of the previous year. In May, the ministry in its third advance estimate for 2016-17 crop year had pegged the foodgrain output at 273.38 MT. The previous record foodgrains output was 265.04 MT in 2013-14.
Record foodgrain output is because of substantial rise in production of rice, wheat, coarse cereals and pulses supported by ‘normal’ monsoon rains last year. “As a result of very good rainfall during monsoon 2016 and various policy initiatives taken by the government, the country has witnessed record foodgrain production in the current year,” the agriculture ministry said after releasing the fourth and the last estimate for 2016-17 crop year. The ministry releases four estimates at different stages of crop growth.
As per the data, rice output is estimated to be a record 110.15 MT in 2016-17 which is about 6% more than as against 104.41 MT reported in the previous year. Previous record was 106.65 MT in 2013-14. Wheat output rose by more than 6% to a record 98.38 MT in 2016-17 as against 92.29 MT last year. The previous high was 95.85 million tonne in 2013-14.
Pulses production is also projected to be a record 22.95 MT in 2016-17 which is 30% more than 16.35 MT reported in last year, but the previous high stood at 19.25 MT in 2013-14. In pulses category, tur and urad output is estimated to a record 4.78 MT and 2.80 MT, respectively, in 2016-17 crop year mainly attributed to hike in Minimum Support Price and spike in retail prices in 2015-16.
Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) recently stated that the rainfall during second half of the monsoon season (June-September) is likely to be in ‘normal’ range. This will give boost to kharif crops output and increase water level at the key reservoirs.
In June, the met department has predicted that monsoon seasonal rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 98% of the benchmark Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of ±4%. Last year, the country received cumulative rainfall of 97% of LPA.
Met department had predicted in July, which has 33% share in overall monsoon rains would be 96% of its LPA while actual rainfall was 102% of benchmark. Even in the month of June, the average rainfall was 104% of LPA.
According to IMD, the cumulative rainfall received till wednesday across the country has been 96% of LPA. Out of the 36 subdivisions in the country, six have received ‘excess’ rainfall while 20 got ‘normal’ rains so far. Only 10 have received ‘deficient’ rains. In terms of area, 25% of the country fall in ‘excess’ rainfall zone, 49% has received ‘normal’ monsoon this year while 26% fall in ‘deficient’ rains zone. The kharif sowing so far has been completed in 89% (943 lakh hectare) of normal sown area.