Hyderabad: The state government has cut crop production estimates for the agriculture season for 2017-18.
The government readies the State Agriculture Action Plan before every monsoon to project production estimates for kharif and rabi seasons. The report is released in the second week of June.
The overall food grains production estimate has been brought down to 90.89 lakh metric tonnes this year against the 97.41 lakh metric tonnes projected last year.
Heavy production this year has resulted in a crash of prices and farmers suffering losses due to absence of MSP.
The government discouraged cotton last year but this year it had raised production estimate by 3 lakh metric tonnes.
Agriculture department secretary C. Parthasarathi said, “These estimates are generally prepared taking into account the average production achieved during the last five years. But, the actual production figures may be higher in case there are unexpectedly good rains like during last September. The heavy rains that lashed the state in September resulted in higher rabi production, resulting in all markets being flooded with food grains.”
Mr Parthasarathi said in 2013-14, there was bumper crop in Telangana but it was followed by moderate drought in 2014-15. “There was severe drought in 2015-16 and in 2016-17, there was normal rainfall. This year the IMD had predicted rainfall 5 per cent below normal based on which the fresh projections were made. But if there are good rains, the actual production may be higher,” he noted.
The department has even cut projection of the crop sown area this year on prediction of below-normal rainfall.
While the crop sown area projection was 87.60 lakh acres in 2016-17, it has now been decreased to 81.25 lakh tonnes.
The department expects an increase in cotton sowing this year.
Officials feel farmers may again opt for cotton this year.
However, the government has raised the projection for paddy, which remains the major food grain crop in state from 55.43 lakh metric tonnes in 2016-17 to 58.11 lakh metric tonnes in 2017-18.
The projection for pulses has been brought down from 5.78 lakh metric tonnes in 2016-17 to 4.69 lakh metric tonnes in 2017-18.
However, Mr Parthasarathi said all these projects are subject to modification, based on rainfall during kharif and rabi seasons.