Crop output in Kharif season may break records: Pawar
New Delhi: India is likely to achieve record production of foodgrains and other crops in Kharif season of 2013-14 because of good monsoon that has led to the doubling of sowing area, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said today.
"All kharif crops put together, acreage has reached 401.69 lakh hectares as on July 5, as against 215.6 lakh hectares in the same period last year. This is a very very good picture. As of today, it looks like we will break all previous production records," Pawar said.
For the Kharif season, all-time high in foodgrains output was in 2011-12 at 131.27 million tonnes. However, the output fell in Kharif last year because of drought in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The likely bumper production of Kharif crops would help the government in implementing food security programme and also in controlling prices.
Pawar noted that the sowing data is not final as planting operation would continue till August first week. Rice, pulses, cotton, maize and soyabean are the major Kharif crops.
"By and large, there is good rain every where and farmers have started sowing. This is a good indication. I will be able to give final data on sowing by the second week of August," Pawar said.
The country has received 21 per cent excess rainfall since the onset of the monsoon this year with 20 sub-divisions registering surplus rains.
"The figures are indicating that sowing operations are in full swing. By and large, rains seem to be good in most parts of the country. If this continues up to August, India will be a major producers in most crops," Pawar observed.
According to the latest data, the area under coverage for oilseeds has increased sharply to 110.27 lakh hectares till July 5, from 26.52 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.
The acreage of coarse cereals has gone up to 65.55 lakh hectares from 23.01 lakh hectares. Rice area has increased to 69.17 lakh hectares from 56.77 lakh hectares.
The area under coverage for pulses stood at 18.37 lakh hectares, as against 3.99 lakh hectares in the corresponding period of last year, while cotton acreage increased to 81.73 lakh hectares from 46.61 lakh hectares.
The country produced a record 259.32 million tonnes of foodgrains in 2011-12 crop year (July-June), but production fell last year to 255.36 million tonnes.
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