Kharif food crop production during 2017-18 likely to fall by 2.8 percent

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Kharif food crop production during 2017-18 likely to fall by 2.8 percent

Nirmesh Singh

New Delhi | 25 Sep 2017

The total Kharif food grain production during 2017-18 is likely to fall to 134.67 million tonnes (MT), thus registering a decline of 2.8 percent as compared to the production during 2016-17.  The fall in production is due to a dry spell as well as floods in some parts of the country. The only Kharif crop estimated to yield high production is sugarcane whereas the production of Kharif rice, pulses, coarse cereals, maize, oilseeds, cotton, jute and mesta are estimated to fall during 2017-18 as compared to 2016-17.

The Ministry of Agriculture released the First Advance Estimates of production of major Kharif crops for 2017-18 today.

“The Kharif food grain production during 2017-18 is estimated to drop to 134.67 MT from 138.52 MT during 2016-17”, the ministry said.

“However, these are preliminary estimates and would undergo revision based on further feedback from the States”, the ministry added.

Despite a projection of normal monsoon, so important for Kharif crops, the rainfall was 5 percent lesser this season during the period 01st June to 6th September this year. The states of Assam, Bihar, Gujarat and Rajasthan faced heavy floods this monsoon whereas Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu were deficient in the rainfall.

To cover up the low production this year, the ministry claimed, “The estimated production of most of the crops during current Kharif season is estimated to be higher as compared to their normal production of last five years”.

“The assessment of production of different crops is based on the feedback received from States and validated with information available from other sources”, it said.

The total production of Kharif rice is estimated at 94.48 MT during 2017-18 which is lower by 1.91 million tonnes than the production of 96.39 MT during 2016-17.

The total production of coarse cereals in the country estimated in 2017-18 has also dipped to 31.49 MT as compared to 32.71 MT during 2016-17.  Production of maize and pulses during 2017-18 is also expected to be lower by 0.52 MT and 0.72 MT, respectively as compared to last year’s production. The production of maize is pegged at 18.73 million tonnes and that of pulses is estimated to be 8.71 million tonnes during 2017-18.

The production of Kharif oil seeds is expected to fall to 20.68 MT during 2017-18 as compared to 22.40 million tonnes during 2016-17, i.e., a decrease of 1.72 million tonnes.

Despite the higher area coverage, the productivity of cotton has reduced this year and the production is estimated to be lower.  The total production in 2017-18 is 32.27 million bales (of 170 kg each) as compared to 33.09 million bales during 2016-17. Jute & Mesta are also estimated to register fall in production. As compared to 10.60 million bales (of 180 kg each) last year, the production is expected to be 10.33 million bales during 2017-18.

The production of sugarcane is likely to be 337.69 MT this year which is higher by 30.97 million tonnes than the last year’s production of 306.72 million tonnes.