Business News/ Industry / Agriculture/  Govt sets foodgrain production target of 332 MT for 2023-24

New Delhi: The government has set a target of 332 million tonne (MT) for foodgrain production for the 2023-24 crop year (July-June), a 2.6% increase from the previous year. 

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the goal includes the production of 29.25 MT of pulses, 44 MT of oilseed, and 17 MT of millets, with strategies being developed in anticipation of El Nino's impact.

“The strategy would be to increase area through inter­cropping and crop diversification and productivity enhancement through the introduction of high yielding varieties, and adoption of suitable agronomic practices in low yielding regions," the ministry said in a statement.

Record production estimates have been made for foodgrains such as rice, maize, pulses, mustard, oilseeds, and sugarcane.

According to the government’s second advance estimates, foodgrains production in 2022-23 crop year ending June is pegged at 323.5 MT.

“The increase in production year-on-year is marginal. It is good that the government is taking preemptive measures amid concerns over drought due to likely El Nino effects," said Ashok Gulati, agriculture economist. “The loss in foodgrains production in drought years has been observed shrinking to 5% in 2014-15 and 2015-16 from 17% in 2002-2003."

The uncertainty in monsoon precipitation is increasing because of the unseasonal rainfall, and El Nino must fight Indian Occean dipole (IOD), which is seen as positive this year as per the Indian Meteorological Department’s forecast, Gulati said, adding. IMD’s next forecast will put more light on monsoon rainfall

The agriculture sector's robust growth has led to a 4.6% average annual growth rate over the past six years, contributing to the nation's overall economic growth, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said.

The minister highlighted the government's focus on agro-ecological crop planning and diversification from excess commodities like rice and wheat to deficit commodities like oilseeds and pulses. 

Minister of state for agriculture Kailash Choudhary said the rising global demand for millets presents an opportunity for increased production, efficient processing, and better crop rotation utilization. To support farmers, the government also plans to convert over 325,000 fertilizer shops into Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samruddhi Kendras, offering fertilizers, seeds, soil testing, and farming technique information.


Puja Das
Puja Das is a New Delhi based policy reporter covering food, farm, fertiliser, water, and climate policies for Mint. Puja reports on farmers' distress and how the agriculture sector is impacting India's rural economy and policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at COP27. Puja holds a post-graduation degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore.
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Updated: 04 May 2023, 03:13 PM IST
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