Despite deficient monsoon rains last year, India’s foodgrain production in the 2015-16 crop year (July-June) is estimated to be 252.22 million tonne (mt), marginally higher than the overall production in 2014-15.
The fourth and final advance estimate of the country’s foodgrain production for 2015-16, which was released by the agriculture ministry on Tuesday, said that despite a set-back due to deficient rainfall and the shortage of water in reservoirs, the total grain production in the country has been higher than in the previous year.
However, the agriculture ministry has revised the rice production estimate for 2015-16 marginally upward, while the output estimates of wheat and pulses have been revised downward from the third advance estimate released a few months back. As reported by FE last week, the agriculture ministry has revised downward its wheat production estimate for the year to 94.04 mt from 94.04 mt reported in the third advance estimate released a couple of months back. In 2014-15, the wheat output was 86.53 mt.
Total production of rice during 2015-16 is now estimated at 104.32 mt, which is marginally lower than the production of 103.36 mt reported in the third advance estimate. In the previous year, the rice production was estimated at 105.48 mt during 2014-15. In the case of pulses, the output in the fourth advance estimate is reported at 16.47 mt, while in the third advance estimate, the output was reported at 17.06 mt. In 2014-15 pulses production was reported at 17.15 mt. According to an official release, with a decline of 2.207 mt over the previous year’s production’s, total oilseeds production in the country during 2015-16 is estimated at 25.304 mt.
The sugarcane output is estimated at 352.16 mt, lower by 10.17 mt than its production during 2014-15. Production of cotton is estimated at 30.147 million bales (of 170 kg each) is also lower by 4.658 million bales than its production of 34.805 million bales reported during 2014-15.
Due to ‘normal’ monsoon rainfall received so far, the agriculture ministry has set a record grain production target at 270.10 mt for the 2016-17 crop year.
With most parts of the country getting ‘normal’ or ‘excess’ rainfall during the first half of the monsoon season (June-July), the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday stated that rainfall during the second half (August–September) would be ‘above normal’ at 107% of the benchmark Long Period Average (LPA), with a model error of ± 8%.
The MeT department also reiterated its June’s forecast by stating that overall rainfall during monsoon season (June-September) will be 106% of the LPA, which is set to give a huge boost to kharif agricultural activities following two successive years of ‘deficient’ monsoon (2014 & 2015).
Till last week, the kharif crop sowing has surpassed last year’s sowing by more than 6%. Besides a decline in cotton sowing, in the cases of most of the key kharif crops — rice, oilseeds and pulses — cultivation has exceeded last year’s figures.