New Delhi: The country’s agriculture sector, which accounts for nearly 17% of GDP, grew by a healthy 3.5% in 2007-08 than the initially estimated 2.6%.
“The final estimates in agriculture are much higher...it could be 3.5% in the revised estimates”, Statistics and Programme Implementation secretary Pronab Sen said on 29 May, a day ahead of release of GDP growth figures for FY’08.
The higher output in agriculture may push up economic growth rate closer to 9%.
In the advanced estimates released on 7 February, the agriculture growth rate was estimated at 2.6% and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)at 8.7%.
“In the revised estimates, the agriculture growth rate could be higher by 0.7 to 0.8 per cent” Sen said while speaking on the sidelines of a function to release the final results of the fifth Economic Census.
Farm output in terms of wheat, rice, coarse grains, pulses, oilseeds and cotton, is estimated to have touched a record level in 2007-08.
According to third advance estimate released by the Agriculture Ministry on 22 April, food grain production is estimated at 227.32 million tonnes in 2007-08, which is 10.04 million tonnes higher compared to the previous year.
Wheat production is projected at record 76.78 million tonnes in 2007-08 against the earlier estimate of 74.81 million tonnes done in February.
Rice production is also pegged at record 95.68 million tonnes in 2007-08 against 93.35 million tonnes in 2006-07. Pulses production is also estimated at 15.19 million tonnes compared to 14.20 million tonnes in the review period.
Oilseeds output is projected at record 28.21 million tonnes against 24.29 million tonnes in 2006-07 season.
The government had introduced last year the National Food Security Mission to raise the rice production by 10 million tonnes, wheat by 8 million tonnes and pulses by 2 million tonnes during 11th five year plan with an outlay of about Rs5,000 crore.
Officials attribute some of the increase in production to this mission.