India. Govt pegs wheat output to be 1.42% lower at 97.11 in 2017-18


India's wheat production is likely to drop by 1.42 per cent to 97.11 million tonnes (MT) in the current crop year ending June due to fall in acreage, according to the government's latest estimates.

However, the country's overall foodgrain output is projected to touch a new record 277.49 MT in the 2017-18 crop year as against 275.11 MT last year.

The foodgrain basket comprises of wheat, rice, coarse cereals and pulses. The kharif (summer) crops have been already harvested, and rabi (winter) crops have now started arriving in mandis.

"As a result of near normal rainfall during monsoon 2017 and various policy initiatives taken by the government, the country has witnessed record foodgrains production in the current year," the Agriculture Ministry said, releasing its second estimate for 2017-18.

Wheat production is estimated to decline by 1.40 MT to 97.11 MT in 2017-18, from the record of 98.51 MT achieved in 2016-17.

The fall in wheat production is mainly due to 4.27 per cent drop in acreage at 30.42 million hectare in the current rabi season. Farmers have shifted to pulses in states like Rajasthan.

Rice output is pegged 1.31 MT higher at 111.01 MT this year, as against 109.70 MT in 2016-17. Much of the rice production comes from the Kharif season.

Pulses production is pegged at a record 23.95 MT this year, up by 0.82 MT, from 23.13 MT last year, the data showed.

Among pulses, gram and urad production is estimated to be a record 11.10 MT and 3.23 MT respectively, this year.

Production of coarse cereals is estimated at record 45.42 MT this year as against 43.77 MT in 2016-17 crop year.

However, oilseeds production is pegged lower by 1.39 MT at 29.88 MT in 2017-18 as against 31.28 MT during 2016-17.

Among oilseeds, soyabean output is likely to decline to 11.39 MT this year from 13.79 MT in 2016-17, while groundnut output is pegged at 8.22 MT as against 7.56 MT in the said period.

In case of cash crop, sugarcane production is estimated to increase significantly to 353.23 MT in 2017-18 crop year as against 306.07 MT last year.

Cotton output is pegged higher at 33.92 million bales (of 170 kg each) as against 32.58 million bales last year, while that of Jute/Mesta is estimated to be lower at 10.51 million bales (of 180 kg each) in the said period.

The government releases total four estimates, before the final one, at different stages of harvesting.


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