Deficient monsoon and widespread drought will pull down the food grains output by 11 million tonnes during the current financial year, Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) said on Wednesday.
With drought hitting about half of the country, the Council said total output of the agriculture and allied sector will decline by 2 per cent against growth of 1.6 per cent in the last fiscal.
"The final change in annual farm output works out to -2 per cent...It is expected that the total food grain production in 2009-10 will drop to 223 million tonnes from 234 million tonnes in 2008-09," the PMEAC said on Wednesday in Economic Outlook for 2009-10.
Oilseed output, too, may decline by six million tonnes to 276 million tonnes this season, the report added.
Worse still, the council said the country might have achieved a growth rate of at least four per cent in the agriculture sector had there been adequate rains this year.
"The outcome of a negative 2 per cent (growth) should be contrasted with a possible 4 per cent or higher growth that would have resulted had the monsoon of 2009 been normal," the report said.
Agriculture, which contributes about 18 per cent to the overall gross domestic product of the country, would perform 7 per cent below its potential this fiscal due to poor monsoon, it added.