Kharif foodgrain output estimated at record 150.50 MT this year

By: |
September 22, 2021 4:00 AM

The robust output could increase pressure on the government to buy the crops at the MSPs if market rates fall below the benchmark rates on bumper arrivals at mandis.

Sugarcane production is likely to jump 5% to 419.25 MT.Sugarcane production is likely to jump 5% to 419.25 MT.

India’s foodgrains production in kharif season of 2021-22 crop year (July-June) has been estimated at a record 150.5 million tonne (MT) on the back of increased acreage under paddy and pulses. Last year’s kharif output was 149.56 MT as per the latest (fourth) estimate, up from 144.52 MT seen in the first estimate.

The robust output could increase pressure on the government to buy the crops at the MSPs if market rates fall below the benchmark rates on bumper arrivals at mandis.

Ahead of the kharif harvesting season starting October 1, mandi prices of most crops barring pulses are ruling below their respective minimum support prices (MSPs). As the summer-sown crop arrivals pick up by early October, the prices could fall further.

The average mandi price in major producing states in eight out of twelve key summer-sown crops namely paddy, jowar, bajra, maize, ragi, urad, moong and sunflower were 3-32% below the MSP during September 1-15. Only tur, cotton, groundnut and soyabean were costlier to wholesalers than the MSP during the period.

Rice output in kharif 2021-22 is estimated to be a record 107.04 MT, up from 104.41 MT in the previous season. The sowing area under paddy was 0.2% higher at 40.96 million hecatre as of September 17 as against the year-ago period. A higher output means the government will have to buy more rice from farmers, experts said.

Amid the farmers’ protest, the Centre has purchased record 59.82 MT of rice (nearly `1.68 lakh crore on MSP value) as of September 20 during 2020-21 marketing season (October-September), which is 49% of the all time high production of 122.27 MT.

According to the first estimates of the kharif crops released on Tuesday, the production of pulses such as tur, urad and moong is likely to be 9.45 MT, up 8.7%, mainly due to increase in sowing area. The tur production is estimated at 4.43 MT, moong and urad at 2.05 MT, each.

The total output of kharif-grown coarse cereals is seen lower by 6.7% at 34 MT, including 21.24 MT of maize. The output of jowar is estimated at 1.54 MT, bajra at 9.35 MT and ragi at 1.52 MT. Among the cash crops, cotton output for this year has been pegged at 36.22 million bales (of 170kg each), up by 2.4% from last year, despite 5.8% drop in acreage and dry weather in key producer Gujarat. Sugarcane production is likely to jump 5% to 419.25 MT.

Commenting on the latest estimate, an expert said: “There is almost always an upward revision between first and fourth estimate However, as September rainfall has been above normal in most parts of the country, there could be some yield losses due to which the food grains output in current kharif season.”

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