NEW DELHI: Erratic and excessive rainfall this year would trim the country’s foodgrain production by 1.14 million tonnes in the Kharif crop season of 2019-20, estimates released by the Union Agriculture Ministry on Monday showed.
The ministry said foodgrain output of the summer crop would be slightly lower at 140.57 million tonnes against 141.71 million tonnes in the previous kharif season. Sowing for the season is almost complete and harvesting will begin from October onwards.
According to the first advance estimates of kharif crops production, rice output would be 100.35 million tonnes, lower than 102.13 million tonnes in the previous kharif season.
“It is also expected that there may be a fall in rice and pulses output,” the release said.
Notably, the research agency Crisil and private weather forecaster Skymet Weather Services had predicted that food production may go down slightly as compared to last year. NCML, India’s largest post-harvest services firm, felt that it may rise slightly.
Rice, pulses and coarse cereals comprise the foodgrain basket. Floods in rice-growing states such as Assam and Bihar and rain deficit in West Bengal and other Eastern States may adversely hit rice output.
Pulses production has been estimated to be lower at 8.23 million tonne as against 8.59 million tonne. The production of coarse cereals, however, has been estimated higher at 32 million tonne from 30.99 million tonne.
Among cash crops, cotton output has been pegged at 32.27 million bales of 170 kg each for the July-June 2019-20 crop year, similar to 32.26 million bales achieved in the previous year. Jute output has been estimated at 9.96 million bales of 180 kg each as against 9.95 million bales in the previous year....