The widespread crop damage caused by floods during the current monsoon season has forced the government to downgrade its projections of foodgrain production during the ongoing kharif season to 140.57 million tonne (mt), marginally lower than 141.71 mt harvested in the corresponding season in 2018-19.
According to the First Advance Estimates of Production of Foodgrains released by the Agriculture Ministry on Monday, rice output during the 2019-20 kharif is slated to be 100.35 mt, about 1.6 per cent less than 102 mt estimated in the 4th advance estimate for 2018-19.
Till mid-September, the country as a whole received a cumulative rainfall 4 per cent above the long period average. The drop in pulses production, on the other hand, is expected to be over 3 per cent. As against 8.59 mt produced in the previous monsoon crop season, the pulses production in the same season this year is slated to be 8.32 mt, largely because of anticipated dip in moong yield and a marginal drop in the production of urad. The Ministry is expecting moon production to drop by 23 per cent, while that of urad to come down by 5 per cent in the 2019-20 kharif season.
Coarse cereals production, on the other hand, is projected to go up by nearly 3 per cent, thanks to expected increase in the production of most coarse cereals, barring bajra. According to official estimates, coarse cereals output during the current kharif would go up to 32 mt as against around 31 mt projected for the same season in 2018-19 in the 4th advance estimates.
Among the crops that may witness a spurt in output are cotton and oilseeds, particularly groundnut crop. An anticipated 17 per cent increase in yield is projected to push groundnut production to over 6.3 mt as against 5.4 mt in 2018-19 kharif season. However, there will be a projected 9 per cent reduction in sesame output, while that of soyabean is expected to dip marginally to 13.51 mt as against 13.79 mt in the previous kharif season.
A boost in cotton production, on the contrary, was rather expected as the cotton yield last year was sub-par. According to the first advance estimates for the year, cotton yield this year would be 32.27 million bales, about 12 per cent more than 28.71 million bales plucked last year.
Another crop that may witness significant reduction in output this kharif season is sugarcane. According to the estimates, the sugarcane yield this year would be around 377.77 mt as against 400.16 mt in 2018-19.