New Delhi: Releasing the third advance estimates of production of major crops for 2018-19, the agriculture ministry said the rice production is estimated at an all-time high of 115.63 MT during 2018-19, beating the previous record of 112.76 MT achieved in the 2017-18 crop year.
Wheat output is also seen at record 101.20 MT, surpassing 99.87 MT in the previous year.
Sugarcane output is estimated at record 400.37 MT, up from 379.90 MT in the previous year.
India’s foodgrains production, however, is estimated to fall marginally to 283.37 million tonne (MT) in the 2018-19 crop year due to fall in pulses and coarse cereals output even as the country harvested record rice and wheat crops, according to government data.
The yield of foodgrains (rice, wheat, coarse cereals and pulses) stood at 285.01 MT in the 2017-18 crop year (July-June).
The production of coarse cereals is estimated to be declined at 43.33 MT from record 46.97 MT in 2017-18 crop year. Pulses output, too, is pegged lower at 23.22 MT from record 25.42 MT.
In non-foodgrains category, oilseeds output is estimated to be flat at 31.42 MT as against 31.45 MT in the previous year.
Cotton production could fall to 27.59 million bales (of 170 kg each) in 2018-19 from 32.80 million bales in the previous year.
The output of jute and mesta is seen lower at 9.79 million bales (of 180 kg each) from 10.03 million bales.
India ranks first globally with the highest net cropped area followed by US and China. The economic contribution of agriculture to India’s GDP is steadily declining with the country’s broad-based economic growth. Still, agriculture is demographically the broadest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India.
Agriculture has the potential for major productivity and total output gains because crop yields in India are still just 30% to 60% of the best sustainable crop yields achievable in the farms of developed and other developing countries.
Additionally, post-harvest losses due to poor infrastructure and unorganised retail, causes India to experience some of the highest food losses in the world.