Foodgrain output likely to touch new record next crop year: Agri minister

NEW DELHI
22 May 2017

Foodgrain output is likely to touch a new record in the 2017-18 crop year to begin from July, on hopes of normal monsoon for the second straight year, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.
Foodgrain production is estimated to be all-time high at 273.38 million tonnes (MT) in the current 2016-17 crop year (July-June) on account of good rains after two years of drought, as against 251.57 MT last year. The previous record was 265.04 MT in 2013-14.
Foodgrain basket comprises of rice, wheat, coarse cereals and pulses.
"The Met department has forecast normal monsoon for this year. If monsoon is good, I am confident that foodgrain output will be record again and boost growth rate to more than 4.4 per cent achieved in 2016-17," Singh said while sharing the government's achievements in the farm sector in last three years.
The Met department forecast was accurate last year and "we hope it will be accurate this year as well," he said.
Southwest monsoon, vital for farm output and economic growth in India, has hit the Andaman and Nicobar islands three days early on May 14 and need to see if it will reach Kerala ahead of the schedule, he added.
The Agriculture Ministry has set foodgrain output target at record 273 MT for the 2017-18 crop year and expects to achieve 4 per cent farm sector growth following the prediction of normal monsoon.
About 50 per cent of the foodgrain output comes from both kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons. The sowing of kharif crops like paddy and pulses will begin with the onset of soutwest monsoon.
On the sidelines of the event, Agriculture Secretary Shobhana K Pattanayak said: "Our minimum expectation is to surpass this year's record production".
The ministry would be able to make crop specific output projections based on the Met department's second monsoon forecast likely to be released next month.
Meanwhile, the government has made all arrangements like seeds, fertilisers and other inputs for kharif sowing, which will begin in full swing from July, he added. (PTI)