Despite record rice output, foodgrains production may drop to 281 million tonne

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Published: March 1, 2019 1:39:02 AM

The kharif foodgrains’s output is seen at 142.27 million tonne while rabi season’s production is likely to be 139.11 million tonne this year.

Rice production in the country is estimated to be a record in 2018-19 crop year (July-June) while total foodgrains output may drop by 1% annually to 281.37 million tonne, the government said on Thursday.

The fall in foodgrains output is mainly because of lower coarse cereals and pulses crops. Officials said the marginal decline in foodgrains output compared to last year will be corrected due to a possible higher wheat harvest, which would be reflected in the next update of the data.

According to the second advance estimates, in which production of rabi crops is also included and an update of the kharif harvest is issued, rice production is estimated to touch an all-time high of 115.60 million tonne this year from 112.91 million tonne in 2017-18. Wheat output is pegged a tad lower at 99.12 million tonne from 99.70 million tonne in the previous year.
“Wheat output was initially pegged at 97.11 million tonne in the second advance estimates of last year. However, in subsequent revision, the production rose to 99.70 million tonne when fourth estimate was released. Since wheat is a rabi crop and its expected output is released first time in the second advance estimates, it is always conservative,” a government official said. India has been witnessing bumper rice, wheat, pulses, cotton and sugarcane output over the last few years, resulting in lower prices for the farmers.

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The kharif foodgrains’s output is seen at 142.27 million tonne while rabi season’s production is likely to be 139.11 million tonne this year. Normally, each season contributes half of the total foodgrains harvested in the country. The production figures are subject to revision on account of more precise information flowing over time, the agriculture ministry said in a statement. The country had produced a record 284.83 million tonne of foodgrains in 2017-18.

The rainfall during the June-September monsoon season in the country was ‘below normal’ and quantitatively 91% of the long period average (LPA) of 89 cm. However, the rainfall was well distributed and timely, except in few areas of Gujarat, Karnataka and the north-east region.

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The production of coarse cereals is estimated to fall to 42.64 million tonne in 2018-19 from 46.99 million tonne in the previous year. Pulses output, too, is seen lower at 24.02 million tonne from record 25.23 million tonne.

The oilseeds production is estimated at 31.50 million tonne as against 31.3 million tonne while sugarcane output is estimated at 380.83 million tonne, up from 376.9 million tonne previous year. Production of cotton has been pegged lower at 30.09 million bales (of 170 kg each) from 34.88 million bales.

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