Food grains availability has dropped sharply

Written by Commodities Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 4 2008, 05:59am hrs
A burgeoning population that has far outstripped the countrys foodgrains production is leading to fewer quantities of wheat and rice, the staple foodgrain for most Indians, being available to them.

This despite the fact that foodgrains production in India has increased manifold in the last decade, pointing towards the fact that production has to rise significantly to meet demands of the growing population.

An official data showed that since 1996-97, India's per capita net food grain availability has fallen by almost 12% to around 442.8 gram per day, while the net foodgrains production has risen by around 9%.

Net foodgrains production is calculated as gross production minus quantity allowed for seed, feed and wastage at 12.5% of gross production. This clearly shows that India's population growth in the last 10 years has far exceeded the growth in foodgrains production, said RS Deshpande, director, Institute of Social and Economic Change.

Some discrepancies in calculation of the workable population that consumes greater amount of foodgrains have also pulled down per capita foodgrains availability. The data showed that in 1996-97, India's net foodgrains production was at around 174.51 million tonne, while the population was less than a billion.

Since 2001, India's population has expanded by almost 9.7% but net foodgrains production has increased by a mere 2.08%.

India's foodgrains production in 2007-08 (June-July) is estimated to be a record 231 million tonnes, comprising of 121 million tonnes of kharif production and 110million tonnes during the rabi crop season.

Wheat production during the same year is estimated to be at around 78.40 million tonnes, up from last year's 75.81 million tonnes, while rice output is estimated at 96.43 million tonnes, up 3.30% from previous year.

Balancing act

Per capita net food grain availability dips 12%

Per capita net food grain availability dips 12%

Production estimated to be 231 million tonne