Kharif foodgrains output in 2018-19 would be at a record 141.59 million tonnes (mt), marginally higher than the targeted 141.2 mt, according to the first advance estimates of production of major kharif crops released by the Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday. Production in the previous year was 140.73 mt.
The stellar performance is expected mainly on account of an increase in kharif rice production which is slated to be 99.24 mt, nearly 1.75 mt more than that in the corresponding season last year. Rice output in 2017-18 kharif season was 97.50 mt, as per the fourth advance estimates published last month.
This is despite the drastic drop in output of coarse cereals which is estimated to decline by almost 15 per cent to 11.56 mt. Production in last kharif season was 13.64 mt. Among coarse cereal crops, bajra is projected to take the maximum hit whose output may come down to 7.77 mt against 9.13 mt, as per the fourth advance estimates for 2017-18.
Maize production is projected at 21.47 mt, up 1.2 mt, compared to the same period in 2017-18. Pulses production too is estimated to fall marginally to 9.22 mt from 9.34 mt in the previous kharif season, mainly because of lesser urad and arhar production.
Oilseeds output, on the other hand, is expected to be about 1 mt more than the previous season’s 21 mt thanks to the spurt in soya bean sowing. Soyabean production is projected to touch 13.5 mt, up from 11 mt in 2017-18 kharif and is more than enough to tide over the estimated 1.2 mt shortfall in groundnut production.
According to the official data, as against 7.5 mt produced in the corresponding season last year, groundnut yield this kharif season is estimated at 6.3 mt. The official estimates also indicated yet another sugarcane glut year with the production expected to be close to 383.9 mt, which is 7 mt more than 376.9 MT harvested in 2017-18.
Cotton output, on the other hand, is estimated to drop by 2.4 million bales (one bale is 170 kg) to 32.48 million bales, forcing an increase in its market prices. Production of jute and mesta, however, is anticipated to maintain the same levels at a combined output of 10.17 million bales of 180 kg each.
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