India’s summer foodgrain production is projected to drop by some 2% to 124.05 million tonne in 2015-16 compared to the previous year because of deficient monsoon and drought-like conditions in several states, including Karnataka and Maharashtra.
According to the first advance estimate of foodgrain production released by the ministry of agriculture on Wednesday, the rice output for 2015-16 is pegged at 90.61 million tonne (mt) which is 2.9% higher by last year’s first advance estimate.
Among pulses, the output of tur or arhar is estimated to decline to 2.61 mt in the 2015-16 kharif season from 2.71 mt, but urad production is projected to increase to 1.37 mt from 1.27 mt in kharif season.
As per the first advance estimate, oilseeds production is likely to increase to 19.89 mt in 2015-16 kharif season from 18.32 mt in the year-ago period.
“However, on account of timely onset of monsoon as well as Government’s multiple interventions with contingency plans, timely advisories and regular monitoring of seed and fertiliser availability, estimated production of most of the crops during current kharif season has been higher in comparison to the first advance estimates for 2014-15,” an official statement said.
The statement also said that these are preliminary estimates of kharif output and would undergo revision based on further feedback received from the states. The ministry of agriculture annually brings out four estimates of grains production covering both kharif and winter or rabi seasons.
The quantum of average monsoon rainfall across the country during June 1– September 16 has been 691 millimetres which 16% less than the normal bench mark — long period average (LPA) of 819 milllimetres. LPA is calculated on the basis of annual rainfall recorded in 1951 – 2000 (89 cm).
The regions worst hit due to less rainfall so far include Marthawada (-42%), Madhya Maharashtra (-36%), North Interior Karnataka (-20%), east Uttar Pradesh (-45%), west Uttar Pradessh (-43%), and Gujarat region (-32%) from the LPA.
Regions which have received excess rainfall so far include west Rajasthan (37%), Gangetic West Bengal (12%) and west Madhya Pradesh (7%).
Meanwhile, the cabinet has approved additional 50 days of work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act due to monsoon deficit.