Crop damage not to hit overall foodgrain output: Sharad Pawar
New Delhi: Crop damages in some states due to untimely rain will not have any impact on the overall foodgrain output this year, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Wednesday.
The total foodgrain production is pegged at a record 263.2 million tonnes during 2013-14 crop year (July-June), as against 257.13 million tonnes last year, according to the second advance estimates of the Agriculture Ministry.
"There will not be any impact on overall foodgrain production this year," Pawar told reporters after the meeting of EGoM on crop damage.
"I am not worried from the production angle. My worry is that a particular section of the farming community has been affected," he said.
Pawar said there will not be a "worrisome situation" as far as availability of foodgrain is concerned. But the worry is on how to dispose of last year`s stock, he added.
When asked if onions prices will rise in the wake of damage to the crop in Maharashtra due to untimely rain, Pawar said: "Onion crop has also been affected. Nothing to worry as the total area under the crop is more than 16 lakh hectares this time, as against 6.18 lakh hectare last year."
"If prices increase, farmers will benefit," he added.
Untimely rain, wind and hailstorm early this month has damaged most rabi crops like wheat, pulses, vegetables and fruit crops in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
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