Centre sets 307 mt food output target for next season

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on April 30, 2021

Agriculture Ministry aims at record production of pulses, oilseeds too

Amidst forecast of a normal South-West monsoon, the Union Government has set a record foodgrain production target for the crop year 2021-22 (July-June).

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar announced the higher foodgrain production target of 307 million tonnes at the National Conference on Kharif Campaign 2021 on Friday.

The target is some one per cent higher over the second advance estimates of 303.34 million tonnes, released in February, for the current season.

The production target for rice, the main kharif cereal crop, has been set higher at 104.3 million tonnes. Agriculture Commissioner, S K Malhotra urged the States to promote direct seeding, system of rice intensification, hybrids and drought, salinity and flood-tolerant seed varieties, besides encouraging safe and judicious use of chemicals such as tricyclazole and buprofezin in rice to avoid the presence of residue in rice exports.

Shortage of oilseeds

Similarly, a higher production target is also envisaged for pulses and oilseeds, for which the country still relies on imports. Pulses production target for crop year 2021-22 is set higher at 25 million tonnes, while oilseeds the target is pegged at 37.6 million tonnes.

However, shortage of oilseeds – mainly soyabean – is a concern as farmers gear up to expand the acreages after fetching higher returns last year. The edible oil trade is expecting an increase in areas under oilseeds such as groundnut and soyabean. Tomar, expressing concern over the shortage, asked the States to work on a mission mode to tackle the issue.

The shortage of soyabean seeds is pegged at 87,656 tonnes and also the shortfall in maize seeds is estimated at 73,445 tonnes. According to Malhotra, the shortage of seeds will be met by National Seeds Corporation, private seed companies and seeds saved by farmers.

Production of coarse cereals is set higher at 51.21 million tonnes for the next season. Maize output is targeted higher at 30.9 million tonnes against projected production of 30.16 million tonnes this season. For increasing maize output, States have been asked to focus on adoption of single cross hybrids, drought and salinity tolerant varieties and integrated pest management for control of fall army worm.

An exception

Among cash crops, the output of cotton is targetted at 37 million bales of 170 kg each, while that of jute and mesta has been fixed at 10.6 million bales (180 kg each), higher than last year’s production.Sugarcane is the only exception, where the target is marginally lower at 397 million tonnes.

On agri-inputs, Malhotra said the requirement of urea for kharif season has been assessed at 177.53 lakh tonnes, higher than this season’s 166.72 lakh tonnes. Similarly, the requirement of Di Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) is estimated higher at 65.18 lakh tonnes (64.20 lakh tonnes), Muriate of Potash at 20.24 lakh tonnes (18.27 lakh tonnes) and SSP at 26.46 lakh tonnes (26.02 lakh tonnes). However, the assessment of NPK fertilisers is lower at 61.87 lakh tonnes (63.25 lakh tonnes).

Published on April 30, 2021

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