Grain output to hit record high in 2019-20 crop year

Backed by above normal monsoon rainfall last year, India’s total foodgrain production is estimated at an all-time record high of nearly 292 million tonnes in 2019-20 crop year, which is over 2.3% higher than the foodgrain production previous year. Among all crops, output of wheat too is estimated at an all-time record level of 106 MT whereas the production of other crops is estimated to be higher than their normal production.

Agriculture ministry released its second advanced estimates for the current year, showing it as the fourth consecutive yearon-year of higher output of foodgrains since 2016-17 crop year (July-June).

The ministry’s figures show that the estimated output of foodgrain this year has even crossed its target (291 MT) which it had set before the beginning of the 2019-20 sowing season. Though this estimate may be revised after harvest of rabi (winter sown) crops, officials said the final output figures may not be less than what is estimated now.

The ministry releases four advance estimates followed by final estimates of production of major agricultural crops every crop year. The fourth advance estimates are considered as good as final estimates. India’s foodgrain basket comprises of rice, wheat, coarse cereals (millets and maize) and pulses.

“The cumulative rainfall in the country during the monsoon season (June-September, 2019) had been 10% higher than the Long Period Average. Accordingly, the production of most of the crops for the agricultural year 2019-20 has been estimated higher than their normal production,” the report said.

It added that these estimates are subject to revision on account of more precise information flowing over time. As per estimates, total foodgrain production is pegged at a record 291.95 MT for 2019-20 crop year, higher by 6.74 MT than the total production of 285.21 MT in 2018-19. Of the total production, foodgrain output is estimated to be 142.36 MT from the kharif (summer) season and 149.60 MT from the rabi season of current year.

Among non-foodgrain crops, outputs of oilseeds, sugarcane and cotton are estimated to be higher this year compared to their production in 2018-19. Output of oilseeds at 34.19 MT is, however, less than what the ministry had targeted (36 MT) and much less than what the country needs to meet its demand (45 MT). As a result, oilseeds output continues to be a concern. The country’s edible oil import bill currently exceeds Rs.60,000 crore per year.

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