Despite a weak monsoon season, India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare is forecasting record production of rice and near record production of wheat in 2018-19.
According to the second advance estimates, rice production is estimated to touch an all-time high of 115.60 million tonne this year from 112.91 million tonne in 2017-18. Wheat output is pegged a tad lower at 99.12 million tonne from 99.70 million tonne in the previous year.
However, it predicts significantly lower output of corn and other coarse grains, which means overall grain production is expected to fall 2 million tonnes short of last year’s record crop.
The kharif foodgrains’s output is seen at 142.27 million tonne while rabi season’s production is likely to be 139.11 million tonne this year. Normally, each season contributes half of the total foodgrains harvested in the country. The production figures are subject to revision on account of more precise information flowing over time, the agriculture ministry said in a statement. The country had produced a record 284.83 million tonne of foodgrains in 2017-18.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the 2018 Southwest Monsoon (June through September 2018) precipitation was 9% below the 50-year average across the country.
It noted that while weak monsoon rains in September affected planting of rabi crops, extended winter conditions and scattered rains during January and February are likely to support good yields of the upcoming crops, including wheat, barley, and other coarse grains.