Foodgrain production in the on-going kharif season is expected to be at a record high of 135.03 million tonnes (mt) with a record output predicted for pulses and rice, according to production estimates released by the Agriculture Ministry.

“This is higher than the previous record production by almost 4 million tonnes (about 9 per cent). The way farmers are working, in about three years’ time we will be totally self-dependent,” said Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, releasing the first advance estimates of production of major kharif crops at a press conference on Thursday.

Record kharif production at the moment stands at 131.27 mt achieved in 2011-12. Last year, total production of kharif foodgrain was at 124.01 mt.

Interestingly, kharif production figures have been pegged higher than the target of 132.75 mt fixed earlier this year, despite monsoon rains set to be lower than predicted. The target for rabi crop is 137.75 mt, while the overall target for foodgrain production for 2016-17 is 270.10 mt, which is again a record number.

Estimated production of most of the crops during the current kharif season is estimated to be higher than last year, according to the fourth advance estimates for 2015-16, said an official release. “As a result of favourable monsoon rainfall, area and yield of most of the kharif crops is expected to be higher,” it explained.

The production of kharif rice is pegged at 93.88 mt — a new record. The previous high was 92.78 mt, produced in 2011-12.

Pulses production is estimated to be a record 8.7 mt, which is 57 per cent higher than the 5.54 mt produced in the previous kharif season. The increase in minimum support price of pulses and high market prices have encouraged farmers to sow more pulses this year.

Coarse cereal production is seen growing to 32.45 mt in the kharif season from last season’s 27.17 mt.

Production of kharif oilseeds is estimated at 23.36 mt this year compared to 16.59 mt in the previous kharif season. Sugarcane production is estimated at 305.25 mt (352.16 mt).

Despite lower acreage under cotton because of the white-fly scare, higher productivity of the crop has resulted in higher production of 32.12 mt compared to 30.15 mt last kharif season.

Production of jute and mesta at 10.41 million bales (of 180 kg each) is marginally lower than the production of 10.47 million bales last year, the release said.