India’s kharif rice, foodgrain production estimated lower than last year

The production of Indian Kharif rice and the total production of food grains this year has been estimated at more than 6 million tonnes (metric tons) each compared to last year by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in its first advance estimate released today (Wednesday).

The decline in production is mainly due to a 17 percent lack of rainfall during the ongoing monsoon season this year in the eastern and northeastern parts of the country. The northwestern parts witnessed a 4 percent shortage of rainfall, which affected the production of crops such as tur and oilseeds.

According to estimates, Khareef rice production has been pegged 6.77 million tons (metric tons) lower than this crop (July 2022 – June 2023) at 104.99 metric tons compared to last year. Production of food grains is expected to decrease by 6.12 metric tons to 149.92 million tons.

food pulses

The Department of Agriculture released the estimate, forecasting the production of nutritious grains at 36.56 metric tons (35.91 metric tons) and the output of pulses at 8.37 metric tons (8.37 metric tons).

Production of food grains rose mainly on the back of record maize production. Maize production is seen at 23.10 metric tons versus 22.63 million tons a year earlier. Farmers went for a higher acreage of maize given its prices commanded more than 2,200 quintals last season, mainly based on demand from the poultry sector.

However, lower coverage of jowar (down by 4.6 percent) and raji (down by 10.7 percent) led to a negligible increase of 1.8 percent in the production of food grains.

Pulses production is estimated to be unchanged at 8.37 million tons compared to last year. Production unchanged despite a decrease of 4.1 percent in coverage of legume yield with a decrease in the area of ​​tort (arhar, pea) by 4.6 percent, rad (black mattab) by 3.9 percent, and muong (green gram) by 4 percent.

Among the pulses, the ministry said, the production of tur reached 3.89 million tons, compared to 4.34 million tons a year earlier.

Less oily seeds

Khareef oilseed production was forecast at 23.57 mt vs. 23.88 mt a year earlier. It fell by 1.3 percent mainly because peanut production came in at 8.37 metric tons compared to 8.375 metric tons a year earlier. Soybean yield was pegged at 12.89 metric tons, compared to about 13 million tons a year earlier.

The decrease in the production of oilseed crops is mainly due to a decrease in their coverage by 7.3 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. Soybean hub state Madhya Pradesh has seen farmers switch to pulses from soybeans this year, which has affected overall production.

Exporting 11.2 million tons of sugar and converting more than 3 million tons of sugar production into ethanol has led to a boom in sugarcane farmers, who have grown the crop this year on 55.65 thousand hectares. As a result, sugarcane production reached a record high of 465.05 million tons.

Cotton rebounds

Cotton production is expected to rebound from last year’s experience of unseasonal rains affecting the crop. Production this year amounted to 341.9 bales (170 kg), compared to 312.03 bales last year. Record prices for cotton, which exceeded Rs 1 lakh sweet (356 kg), helped the area under the fiber crop increase by 7.5 percent this year.

Jute and mista production was pegged at less than 100.9 lakh bales (180 kg each) against 103.17 lakh bales as coverage decreased by 0.2 per cent and growing areas affected by lack of rainfall.

The ministry said that Khareef’s overall production is better than the average for the past five years, which is seen as an attempt to calm the market that the situation is under control.

The government, for its part, has taken steps to overcome the difficult problem of low rice production by limiting its exports, while allowing the import of pulses and oilseeds.