New Delhi: The agriculture and allied sectors are estimated to grow at a slower pace of 3% in 2017-18, compared to 6.3% last year, parliament was informed on Friday.

The farm sector growth is estimated to moderate due to higher growth achieved last year, minister of state for agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. In its second advance estimate, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has pegged the growth rate of gross value added (GVA) of agriculture and allied sectors at 3% for 2017-18, taking into account constant 2011-12 prices, he said.

The CSO’s approach of growth estimation of GVA in agriculture is pre-dominantly production based. Since 2016-17 marked a record production of food grains and the base year 2015-16 (for calculating growth of GVA 2016-17), was a drought year, the GVA in agriculture recorded a high growth in 2016-17 fiscal, he added.

“In spite of a better agricultural output estimated for 2017-18, the GVA growth is moderate on account of high output in the base year 2016-17," he said. The government is estimated food grain production to be a record 277.49 million tonnes in the 2017-18 crop year (July-June), as against 275.11 million tonnes last year.

The minister said the government has launched several schemes to increase growth of agriculture sector and for welfare of the farmers through increase in production and productivity of agricultural crops and to improve income levels of farmers.