Record food grain output likely: Govt

New Delhi: Food grain production in the crop year ending June is likely to hit an all-time high of 330.5 million tonnes against last year’s 315.6 mt, according to the agriculture ministry’s third advance estimates. This is mainly because of the estimated record production of wheat, rice and maize.

According to the government’s second advance estimates released in February, foodgrains production was seen to be at 323.5 mt. The Ministry had set a target of achieving 328 mt foodgrain in this agricultural year.

“Agriculture sector is developing day by day due to the hard work of farmers, proficiency of scientists, and farmer-friendly policies of the government,» agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in a press statement on the release of the 3rd advanced estimates.

Total production of rice during the 2022-23 crop year is estimated to be 135.5 mt as compared to 129.4 mt in the previous year, while wheat output is seen to be 112.7 mt against the previous year’s estimated production of 107.7 mt.

This is despite a hot February and unseasonal rains during the harvesting period in March and early April.

The estimated higher production of wheat indicates more availability in the domestic market than expected earlier. The government in May last year banned exports of wheat, followed by its products atta (wheat flour), maida and sooji (semolina) in August to keep domestic prices in check.

The minister told the Lok Sabha on 15 March that there was no proposal from the ministry to ease the export restrictions of wheat.

Farmers cultivate wheat, one of the key rabi or winter crops, from October onwards and harvesting gets over by the end of May.

Production of maize in the country is projected to be 35.9 MT, which is 2.2 MT higher than the previous year.

In addition to foodgrains, the ministry sees total oilseeds production to rise to a record 40.9 MT as compared to 37.9 MT in 2021-22 (July-June).

The output of sugarcane also has seen a boom. Its production in 2022-23 is estimated to be a record high of 494.2 MT against last season’s 439.4 MT.

Amid talk of lower supply of cotton in the chain due to likely falling production, the government in its third advance estimates said cotton production in the current season is anticipated to be 34.3 million bales (1 bales = 170 kg) compared with 31.1 million bales last year.

The agriculture ministry will come up with the final estimates for 2022-23 (July-June) season in August.


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