Agri Business

Kharif food production will fall, say 2 out of 3 projections

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 29, 2019

Floods in Assam and Bihar and a rain deficit in Bengal and other Eastern States may hit rice production   -  AKHILESH KUMAR

Crisil, Skymet estimate lower output; NCML sees a marginal rise

There is no consensus in the projections for kharif foodgrain production in 2019, with three major players in the agricultural space reading the impact of erratic rainfall in the current season differently.

While research agency Crisil and private met services provider Skymet Weather Services said on Thursday that food production may go down slightly as compared to last year, NCML, India’s largest post-harvest services firm, felt that it may rise slightly.

Crisil, which held a Webinar on Thursday on this year’s kharif prospects, said that production would go down by 3-5 per cent.

NCML’s projections, which focussed mainly on foodgrains, said that production may rise by a marginal 0.7 per cent.

Skymet, which concentrated on four major crops — rice, pulses, soyabean and cotton — saw the output of the first three crops dipping and that of cotton picking up significantly.



Bumper cotton crop

Skymet anticipated a bumper cotton crop of 34.21 million bales, an increase of 14 per cent over the previous year, but the yield of rice and soyabean may fall by 13 and 12.5 per cent, respectively, the forecaster said.

Pulses production may dip marginally by 0.5 per cent, according to Skymet, which has ventured into a detailed crop outlook for the first time. The private weather forecaster mainly looked at rainfall conditions in States where the respective crops are being grown.

Floods in rice-growing States such as Assam and Bihar and a rain deficit in West Bengal and other Eastern States may adversely hit rice output.

Similarly, excess rains in a few districts in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are expected to impact soyabean yields adversely, it said.

NCML, too, agreed that cotton farmers will have a bountiful harvest this season with output going up by nearly 25 per cent as compared to the 4th advance estimates for 2018-19.

Monsoon revival

But it estimates that other crops may not do as badly as anticipated earlier as the sharp revival in monsoon rains in July and August has offset the impact of the delayed onset in June.

It projected the foodgrain production in the current kharif season at 142.4 million tonnes, marginally higher than the 141.7 million tonnes in 2018-19.

Crisil, however, does not expect output to go up to last year’s levels.

As production is expected to be lower, the crops may command higher prices, boosting the profitability of farmers.

According to its projections, northern States such as Punjab and Haryana will reap the highest profit per hectare, while there would be a healthy rise in profits in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

However, it does not expect eastern Indian States to do well when it comes to farmer profitability.

Published on August 29, 2019

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