India can expect a record foodgrains output this year, helping the government tame the spiralling food inflation.
According to the Second Advance Estimates of foodgrains production, released by the Agriculture Ministry on Tuesday, a record harvest of both rice and wheat should push up the country’s food output to an all-time high of 292 million tonnes (mt) in 2019-20, which is 6.7 mt more than the previous crop year’s 285.21 mt.
While the rice output is expected to be 117.47 mt (against 116.48 mt in 2018-19), that of wheat is slated to hit best-ever 106.21 mt (103.60 mt).
Oilseeds on a high
Good performance of all three major oilseeds — soyabean, mustard and groundnut — has helped raise the cumulative oilseeds output by 8.6 per cent to around 34.2 mt, from 31.52 mt in 2018-19. While the output of groundnut is expected to go up to 8.24 mt (6.73 mt in 2018-19), that of soyabean and mustard is seen at 13.62 mt (13.27 mt) and 9.26 mt (9.11 mt), respectively.
Similarly, at 45.24 mt, coarse cereals production is projected to be 5 per cent more than previous year’s 43.06 mt. While jowar output is slated to go up by nearly 1 mt to 4.38 mt, maize is set for yet another bumper year with its production set to cross 28 mt.
Pulses: Rabi crop makes up
Even though excess rains and floods during the monsoon impacted pulses production during the kharif season, the expected increase in pulses output during the rabi season, particularly that of gram, is not only estimated to make up for the loss, but increase the output to 23.02 mt, which is nearly 1 mt higher than the previous year’s crop.
The production of gram is expected to cross 11 mt as against 9.94 mt in 2018-19.
Drop in cane output
Sugarcane production, on the other hand, is expected to drop by 13 per cent to 353.8 mt against 405.4 mt in the previous year.
Among non-food crops, impressive would be the output of cotton, which is projected at 34.9 million bales (of 170 kg each), nearly 25 per cent more than last year’s 28 million bales.