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Production of pulses is estimated to touch 9.3 million tonnes. HT
Production of pulses is estimated to touch 9.3 million tonnes. HT

Kharif food output likely to hit a record 145 million tonnes

Due to the above average rainfall this year, production of most crops may be marginally higher, said govt

Buoyed by a good monsoon, production of Kharif crop is likely to touch a record 144.5 million tonnes, according to the first advance estimates released by the agriculture ministry on Tuesday. The estimates are marginally higher than the 143.4 million tonnes produced during the kharif season of 2019-20.

The increase in foodgrain production is largely due to higher estimated production of pulses at 9.3 million tonnes, up 20% year-on-year from 7.7 million tonnes last year. Production of coarse grains is, however, estimated to drop by 2.7% to 32.8 million tonnes. Production of rice, the main crop is estimated at 102.4 million tonnes, marginally higher than last year.

Among non-food crops, oilseeds production is estimated at 25.7 million tonnes, up by 15% from the year-ago. While production of soybean is estimated to grow 21% to 13.6 million tonnes, groundnut is likely at 9.5 million tonnes, an increase of 14.5%.

Sugarcane production is estimated to increase by 12% to 400 million tonnes, while cotton is likely at 37.1 million bales (one bale equals 170 kg), a 4.5% increase year-on-year.

Due to the above average rainfall this year, production of most crops are expected to be higher than normal, or the five-year-average, the agriculture ministry said in a statement.

The June to September monsoon season has so far seen a surplus of 8% compared to the 50-year average.

Freshly harvested Kharif crops have already started arriving at wholesale markets, and is expected to peak during October. However, crops such as cotton, soybean and maize, are selling at a lower price in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab compared to the minimum support price (MSP) announced by the Centre.

The fall in crop prices could intensify farm protests which have so far been limited to states such as Punjab and Haryana. Farmers are demanding a repeal of the new farm laws which seeks to liberalize agriculture markets by allowing barrier-free participation of private players.

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