India’s foodgrain output to rise 2% in 2020-21 to a record 303.34 million tonnes: Agri Ministry

India’s foodgrain production is estimated to rise by 2 per cent in 2020-21 crop year to an all-time high of 303.34 million tonnes on better output of rice, wheat, pulses and coarse cereals amid good monsoon rains last year, the agriculture ministry said. Crop year runs from July-June.

In the 2019-20 crop year, the country’s foograin output (comprising wheat, rice, pulses and coarse cereals) stood at a record 297.5 million tonnes (MT). Releasing the second advance estimates for 2020-21 crop year, the agriculture ministry said foodgrain production is projected at a record 303.34 MT.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar attributed the rise in production to efforts of the farmers and scientists as well initiatives of the central government. A prolonged and well distributed rainfall across the country, barring a few areas of irrigated north-west region, was the major factor that helped farmers to expand the sowing areas during both kharif and rabi seasons. Monsoon rainfall was 109% of the long period average of 88 cm in 2020.

As per the data, rice production is pegged at record 120.32 MT as against 118.87 MT in the previous year. Wheat production is estimated to rise to a record 109.24 MT in 2020-21 from 107.86 MT in the previous year, while output of coarse cereals is likely to increase to 49.36 MT from 47.75 MT. Pulses output is seen at 24.42 MT, up from 23.03 MT in 2019-20 crop year.

In the non-foodgrain category, the production of oilseeds is estimated at 37.31 MT in 2020-21 as against 33.22 MT in the previous year. Sugarcane production is pegged at 397.66 MT from 370.50 MT in the previous year, while cotton output is expected to be higher at 36.54 million bales (170 kg each) from 36.07 million bales in the previous year.

Even as the higher output will help boost the agriculture gross value added (GVA), the sluggish demand for key cereals like rice and wheat may depress mandi prices, putting pressure on the government to procure more of the crops at the minimum support prices (MSPs).

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