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Foodgrain output expectes to be a record this year

The Agriculture Ministry’s Second of Four Advance estimates, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, India’s annual food output is set to hit a new record in 2020-21. Foodgrain production is estimated to be 303.4 million tonness in 2020-21. The ministry has estimated the total kharif production to be 148 million tonness, and rabi output to be 155.4 million tonness. Farmers have planted winter crops on over nearly 68.5 million hectares, which is nearly 3 percent higher than last year. During the previous rabi season (2019-20), the sown area expanded by 10 percent to 66.6 million hectares. The sown area this year has touched 111 percent of normal, heightening the possibility of a bumper harvest. According to the data, the area under wheat expanded 3 percent to a record 34.6 million hectares. The average sown-area under wheat is about 30.3 million hectares. The area under gram expanded by 5 percent to 11.45 million hectares, the highest on record, surpassing last year’s 10.7 million hectares. The rice output during the 2020-21 kharif season has been pegged at 103.8 million tonness, according to the second advance estimate, higher than the first advance estimates of 102.4 million tonness and last year’s output of 102.3 million tonness. The higher summer output came on the back of a larger cropped area, which exceeded last year’s levels by 2 million hectares, with a push coming particularly in states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana West Bengal and Assam. Higher sowing was mainly on account of robust summer rains.