Foodgrain output set to break record, cross 264 million tonnes

Advance estimates by agriculture ministry project 0.8 million tonnes increase in production over earlier estimate despite freak weather event

By Jyotika Sood
Published: Monday 19 May 2014


The unseasonal rains and hail in March this year seem to have had little effect on overall crop production estimation. India is going to witness its highest foodgrain production of 264 milllion tonnes, according to the third advance estimates for 2013-14, released by the Union agriculture ministry on Friday. It states that production of many crops is likely to break earlier records. In the earlier estimates (2nd Advance Estimates) released in February, the total foodgrain production was pegged at 263.2 million tonnes.

As per the ministry, rice production is expected to be 106.29 million tonne, while wheat production is expected to reach 95.85 million tones, both a record. The total foodgrain production which is 264.38 million tones is seven million tonnes higher than the production last year.

It predicts record production for tur or pigeon pea (3.38 million tonne), gram (9.93 million tonne), maize (24.19 million tonnes), all pulses put together (19.57 million tonne), cotton (36.50 million bales) and jute (10.82 million bales).

Industrial crops like soybean along with rapeseed and mustard are the only three crops which witnessed a decline in production. Soybean production reduced from 14.66 million tonnes last year to 11.95 million tonnes this year. Similarly, rapeseed and mustard production this year was 7.83 million tonnes, down by around 0.2 million tonnes.

Bad weather fails to impact

In March, the country witnessed extreme weather conditions leading to hail and rain in north and central India. These included states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The state governments through their revenue department had claimed significant losses to crop production, contrary to the big figures presented by the ministry.

Read more on havoc caused by freak weather

In Madhya Pradesh, the state government had stated that 0. 2 million tonnes of wheat and 1.5 million tonnes of gram crops were destroyed. Besides, 0.15 million tonnes of mustard and rapeseed each along with 0.3 million tonnes of lentil had been destroyed. The total crop loss was said to be around Rs 10,000 crore.

In Maharashtra also the state government had claimed that 28 districts were affected where 3.55 million farmers complained about crop loss on 2.05 million hectares. Maharashtra government had claimed the losses to be huge and had announced a package of Rs 4,000 crore. Similarly, Rajasthan government had claimed crop loss on over half a million hectares where farmers lost mustard, barley, gram and wheat crops.

Production estimates for major crops for 2013-14 as compared to final estimates for previous five years (in million tonnes)
Crop 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14*
Rice 99.18 89.09   95.98 105.31 1.5.24 106.29
Wheat 80.68 80.80 86.87 94.88 93.51 95.85
Jowar 7.25 6.70 7.00 6.01 5.28 5.25
Bajra 8.89 6.51 10.37 10.28 8.74 9.19
Maize 19.73 16.72 21.73 21.76 22.26 24.19
40.04 33.55 43.40 42.04 40.04 42.68
Tur 2.27 2.46 2.86 2.65 3.02 3.38
Gram   7.06 7.48 8.22 7.70 8.83 9.93
Urad 1.17 1.24 1.76 1.77 1.90 1.50
Total Food grains 234.47 218.11 244.49 259.32 257.13 264.38

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