India says foodgrains output may fall by 1% to 281.37 million tonnes in 2018-19

India’s foodgrains production is estimated to decline by 1 per cent to 281.37 million tonnes in 2018-19 despite record rice output, as the country is likely to harvest lower coarse cereals and pulses crops, the government said.

The country had produced 284.83 million tonnes in the 2017-18 crop year (July-June).

“Total foodgrains production in the country is estimated at 281.37 million tonnes,” the union agriculture ministry said in a statement while releasing the second advance estimates for 2018-19.

The production figures are subject to revision on account of more precise information flowing over time, it added.

The cumulative rainfall in the country during the monsoon season (June to September 2018) was 9% lower than long period average (LPA).

As per the ministry data, rice production is estimated to touch record 115.60 million tonnes in 2018-19 from 112.91 million tonnes in the previous year.

Wheat output is pegged slightly lower at 99.12 million tonnes from 99.70 million tonnes in the previous year.

The production of coarse cereals is estimated to fall at 42.64 million tonnes from 46.99 million tonnes in the previous year.

Pulses output, too, is seen lower at 24.02 million tonnes from record 25.23 million tonnes during the period under review.

Among non-foodgrain crops, total oilseeds production during 2018-19 is estimated at 31.50 million tonnes as against 31.3 million tonnes in the previous year.

Sugarcane output is estimated at 380.83 million tonnes from 376.9 million tonnes.

Production of cotton has been pegged lower at 30.09 million bales (of 170 kg each) from 34.88 million bales, while jute & mesta output is seen at 10.07 million bales (of 180 kg each) against 10.13 million bales.

India has been witnessing bumper foodgrains, oilseeds, cotton, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables over the last few years, which has resulted in lower prices for farmers.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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