Govt sees record grain output, no farm crisis ahead
Increased planting, conducive weather and well-distributed rains will lead to a record grain output of 245 million tonnes in the crop year through June with rice at a new peak of 102 million tonnes, Basu told FE. Oilseeds and pulses, though, may fall slightly. Rice and wheat account for roughly three-fourths of India’s annual grain consumption of around 225 million tonnes.
However, despite the record harvest, analysts doubt the farm sector will help overall economic growth significantly due to the previous year’s high base. The country had produced a record 241.56 million tonnes in 2010-11, boosting annual growth of farm and allied sectors to 6.6%. These sectors grew at 3.6% in the first half of this fiscal, while the overall economy grew 7.3%. Agriculture and allied sectors contributed 14.4% to the economy last fiscal, compared with around 20% by the end of the last Plan period in 2006-07.
Record food production will give the government room to implement a Food Security Act that aims to supply subsidised grains to 75% of rural and 50% of urban households and keep key grain supplies steady.
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