Foodgrain production in the ongoing kharif (summer sown) season is expected to be same as last year’s despite deficient monsoon rains so far as there is still time to sow paddy and other crops, a senior government official said.
“At this moment, we expect kharif crops to be more or less same as that of last year,” Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General Trilochan Mohapatra told reporters on the sidelines of its Foundation Day event, PTI reported.
“Rice could be sown till August-end. So there is enough time,” he said, adding that MeT department has forecast better monsoon in August and September.
Mohapatra said there could be loss of production in areas with rain deficiency of more than 50 per cent, but the same would be compensated with rise in productivity and production in regions that have received good rains. Rains in coming months would be crucial, he added.
India’s foodgrain production is estimated to have fallen marginally to 283.37 million tonne in 2018-19 crop year (July-June) due to fall in pulses and coarse cereals output even as the country harvested record rice and wheat crops.
Earlier addressing the conference, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar highlighted the achievements in agriculture sector, saying that the country has succeeded in becoming self sufficient in foodgrain production.
However, he said the farm sector is facing many challenges in form of water scarcity, providing right prices to farmers for their produce, market linkage and achieving sharp jump in agri-exports. He said availability of water to farmers has become a challenge and advocated efforts to boost yield of rain-fed crops.