Grain output to touch new high in 2017-18

Foodgrain output is likely to touch a new record in the 2017-18 crop year which will begin from July, in the hope of a normal monsoon for the second straight year, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Monday. 

Foodgrain production is estimated to be at an all-time high at 273.38 million tonnes (MT) in the current 2016-17 crop year (July-June) on account of good rains after two years of drought, as against 251.57 MT last year. The previous record was 265.04 MT in 2013-14.

Foodgrain basket comprises of rice, wheat, coarse cereals, and pulses.

"The Met department has forecasted normal monsoon for this year. If the monsoon is good, I am confident that foodgrain output will boost growth rate to more than 4.4 per cent achieved in 2016-17," Singh said while sharing the government's achievements in the farm sector in last three years.

The Met department forecast was accurate last year and they hoped for the same fate for this year too.

Southwest monsoon, vital for farm output and economic growth in India, has hit the Andaman and Nicobar islands three days early on May 14. However, they need to see if the monsoon will reach Kerala ahead of the schedule, he added.

The Agriculture Ministry has set foodgrain output target at record 273 MT for the 2017-18 crop year and expects to achieve 4 per cent farm sector growth following the prediction of normal monsoon.

About 50 per cent of the foodgrain output comes from both kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons. The sowing of kharif crops like paddy and pulses will begin with the onset of southwest monsoon.

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