Setting fresh record in wheat and pulses production, India's overall foodgrain output in the 2010-11 crop year is expected to bounce back after a drought year with a growth of 6 per cent at 232.07 million tonnes (MT).
"We are likely to achieve record production of wheat (81.47 MT), pulses (16.51 MT) and cotton (33.9 million bales of 170 kg each) this year," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters after announcing the second advance estimate of foodgrain production for 2010-11 crop year.
Pawar said foodgrain production is likely to increase to 232.07 MT against 218.11 MT last year. This is only marginally below the record production of 234.47 MT in 2008-09.
Commenting on the bumper production, US think-tank IFPRI's Asia Director Ashok Gulati said, "There is no inflation in wheat and rice. Pulses production is up and this year we will not bear the brunt of high prices as we faced in 2009. So some relief will be there in the coming days."
Pawar noted that the higher production would be achieved despite significant crop damage due to drought in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal and the effects of cyclone, unseasonal rains and severe cold wave and frost condition in several parts of the country.
"It was our desire to reach 4 per cent growth, but there was drought last year. However, we have reached 5.4 per cent growth in GDP (in agri and allied sector) because of efforts of farming community, extension workers and scientists," the minister said.
In the foodgrain basket, rice output is estimated to rise at 94.01 Million tonnes (MT) in 2010-11 from 89.09 MT last year while wheat production is likely to touch fresh record at 81.47 MT against 80.8 MT.
As for Pulses output, it is also seen at record 16.51 MT against 14.66 MT while coarse cereals output is set to increase to 40.08 MT against 33.55 MT, the second estimate data showed.
"This year, performance of farmers is exceptional. Pulses farmers have taken up good crop," Pawar said while attributing bumper crop production to adequate and timely supply of farm inputs and focused intervention through various government schemes.
Among non-food crops, oilseeds production is estimated to rise to 27.84 Million tonnes in 2010-11 against 24.88 MT last year and cotton output is likely to touch a record 33.9 million bales, against 24.2 million bales.
Sugarcane output is also expected to increase to 336.69 MT against 292.3 MT in the review period, the second estimate showed.