New Delhi: India, the second-biggest grower of wheat and rice, may estimate that the food-grain harvest in 2012-2013 will drop 3.8% from a year earlier after a below-average monsoon, said two officials with direct knowledge.
Farmers may reap about 250 million tonnes in the year ending 30 June, from a record 260 million tonnes, said the two government officials, asking not to be identified before the forecast is released in the first week of February. The wheat crop should be 90 million tonnes to 93 million tonnes, they said. The harvest was a record 93.9 million tonnes in 2011-2012, according to the agriculture ministry.
Manoj Pandey, a spokesman for the ministry, declined to comment on the output figures.
Production of food grains sown during the monsoon and harvested from October may drop 9.8% to 117.18 million tonnes, according to the ministry’s estimate. The grains include rice, corn and lentils. Harvesting of wheat, the biggest winter- sown crop, usually begins in March.
Even a smaller food-grain harvest should be enough to meet domestic demand after two consecutive years of rising output. State reserves of rice and wheat were 66.7 million tonnes as of 1 January, compared with the government’s buffer requirement of 25 million tonnes, according to the Food Corporation of India. Bloomberg