Summer crops' output up with good rains

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, September 19: | Updated: Sep 20 2007, 01:56am hrs
The government has estimated the total food grain production in the current summer season at 112.24 million. This marks an increase by 1.72 million over that in the previous year.

The production of four crops, namely, maize, soybean, cotton and sugarcane has at record highs. Maize production is estimated at 13.07 million tonne, that of soybean at 9.04 million tonne, that of cotton at 22.94 million bales (of 170 kg each) and that of sugarcane at 345.62 million tonne.

Cotton production increased marginally from 22.70 million bales in the previous year to 22.94 million bales, this year despite 60% of the area under Bt cotton. Bt cotton has been severely attacked by mealy bug in Punjab

Maize production is slated to increase further as it is grown in winter under favourable conditions in some parts of the country, particularly in Bihar, while crops like soybean, cotton are grown only in summer.

Releasing the first advanced crop estimate, the Union agriculture secretary, PK Mishra attributed the prospects of good crops to the favourable monsoon rains in many parts of the country.

Rice production is estimated at 80.15 million tonne as against 80.11 tonne in the previous years summer. The output of the coarse cereal, jowar is likely to dip from 3.68 million in previous years summer to 3.60 million tonne. However the jowar crop is also grown in winter and hence there is a scope for further production.

The output of another summer coarse cereal, bajra is slated to dip from 8.63 million tonne in the previous year to 7.97 million tonne, However the total output of summer coarse cereals, including jowar, bajra and maize has increased to 26.58 million tonne from 25.67 million tonne in the previous year. The output of summer pulses has increased to 5.51 million tonne from 4.74 million tonne in the previous year.

The output of summer groundnut has increased from 3.28 million tonne to 5.18 million tonne. The output of jute has increased by 1.3%, while that of mesta has fallen by 9.2%