In a major morale boost for the Indian farmer, as per estimates released by the Agriculture Ministry on Tuesday, India’s total foodgrain production is expected to rise to a record 277.5 million tonnes in the year 2017-18. The agricultural year is measured in a July to June cycle. The main products driving the growth are expected to be rice and pulses. Based on these figures, the agriculture output is expected to grow by 0.9% as compared to the 275.1 million tonnes clocked during 2016-17, which too was a record in itself.
This total foodgrain output comprises of commodities like rice, wheat, coarse grains and pulses. Out of these coarse grain is expected to notch the highest growth of 3.8% to increase from 43.77 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 45.42 million tonnes in 2017-18. Using the same metrics and year of reference, rice production is expected to increase by 1.2% from 109.07 to 111.01. Pulses might grow from 23.13 to 23.95, though wheat production is expected to contract by 1.4% from 98.51 to 97.11.
Non-foodgrains like cotton and sugarcane too are expected to grow in this agricultural year. Sugarcane is expected to notch a staggering 15.4% growth from 306.06 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 353.23 million tonnes in 2018-19. Cotton, on the other hand, might rise by 4.1% to 33.92 million bales in 2017-18. Oilseeds production though is expected to fall by 4.4% with its production expected to stand at 29.88 million tonnes in 2017-18.
All these figures comprise of the second agricultural estimate for 2017-18 by the agricultural ministry. This rise in output has been attributed by the agricultural ministry to a “near normal monsoon in 2017 and various policy initiatives taken by the government”. Such an agricultural estimate is carried out via feedback from the states which as per the ministry was corroborated by other sources.
In all, a total of four such advanced estimates are released by the agricultural ministry in one annual cycle, before finally releasing the actual data. The second estimate thus was released after the sowing of Rabi crops was complete.