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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Foodgrain output to fall 3.5% due to drought

PTI  New Delhi, February 08, 2013
First Published: 14:15 IST(8/2/2013) | Last Updated: 14:19 IST(8/2/2013)

Country's foodgrain production is estimated to decline by 3.5% to 250.14 million tonne in 2012-13 crop year as poor rains have hit rice and coarse cereal crops, but the government said the output will be enough to meet the demand.

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The foodgrain production was a record 259.32 million tonne in 2011-12 crop year (July-June).

"We had produced about 260 million tonne foodgrains last year. This year, we have crossed 250 million tonne irrespective of drought in some districts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and parts of Karnataka," agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said at a conference organised by the National Seed Association.

This year's production is sufficient to meet the domestic demand, he added.

As per agriculture ministry's second advance estimate of foodgrain production for 2012-13 crop year released today, the country's rice output is expected to fall to 101.8 million tonne in 2012-13, from a record 105.31 million tonne in the previous crop year.

Wheat output is pegged at 92.3 million tonne in 2012-13, lower from a record 94.88 million tonne in the previous year.

Coarse cereals production is estimated to decline to 38.47 million tonne in 2012-13, from 42.04 million tonne in the previous year. However, pulses would witness higher output at 17.58 million tonne, from 17.09 million tonne last year.

In non-foodgrain category, oilseeds output is estimated to fall marginally to 29.46 million tonne in 2012-13, from 29.79 million tonne in previous year.

Cotton output is likely to fall to 33.8 million bales, from 35.2 million bales, while sugarcane output is estimated to dip at 334.54 million tonne, from 361 million tonnes.

In 2012, monsoon -- the life line of the country's agriculture --  was below normal in some parts of the country resulting in drought in four states -- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat.


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