The country’s onion production is estimated to decline by 4.5 per cent to 21.4 million tonnes in the current 2017-18 crop year due to lower acreage, as per the agriculture ministry data released today. The country had harvested 22.4 million tonnes in the last 2016-17 crop year (July-June), the ministry said in a statement. As per the ministry’s first advance estimate, area sown to onion remained lower at 1.19 million hectare in the current year as against 1.30 million hectare in the last year. To ensure sufficient domestic supplies and curb price rise, the government has imposed the minimum export price (MEP) of $850 per tonne, which would be applicable on shipments of the commodity till January 20. Among other key vegetables, production of tomato and potato are likely to be better than last year. As per the initial data, potato production is estimated at 49.3 million tonnes in 2017-18 compared to the actual output of 48.6 million tonnes in 2016-17.
Similarly, tomato production in the current year is likely to be around 22.3 million tonnes as against 20.7 million tonnes in 2016-17, an increase of 7.7 per cent. Total vegetable production is expected to to be around 180.68 million tonnes this year compared to 178.17 million tonnes last year. Among fruits, mango output is pegged higher at 20.7 million tonnes in the current year on higher yields as against 19.5 million tonnes in the last year. Banana output is, however, expected to drop slightly to 30.2 million tonnes in 2017-18 from 30.47 million tonnes previous year. Total fruit output is estimated to increase to 94.88 million tonnes in the current crop year from 92.9 million tonnes in the last year.
In case of plantation crops like coconut and cashew nut, total production is likely to remain flat at 18 million tonnes for 2017-18 crop year as against 17.97 million tonnes. In case of spices, the total output is pegged at 8.16 million tonnes this year as against 8.12 million tonnes last year. Total horticulture production of the country is estimated to be at an impressive level of 305.4 million tonnes during 2017-18, which is 1.6 per cent higher than the previous year and 8 per cent higher than the past five years’ average production.