Foodgrain output for 2023-24 estimate at 329mt, a tad lower than last year

New Delhi: India’s foodgrain production is 328.8 million tonnes (mt) for the 2023-24 (July-June) crop year, compared to its February estimates of 309mt, according to the third advance estimates of production released by the agriculture ministry on Tuesday. However, the revised estimate is 0.3% lower than the previous season’s nearly 330mt.

Retaining its February estimate for wheat, the government said wheat production could be 112.9mt compared to last year’s 110.5mt and has pegged rice output at 136.7mt, slightly lower than the previous year’s 135.7mt.

Wheat, the main rabi (winter) crop, has been harvested and over 26mt has already been procured by the Union government at the minimum support price.

The estimate on tur production for the current season has been raised to 3.38mt from the February estimate of 3.33mt, but on par with the previous year’s output. It lowered the production estimates of chana (gram) to 11.57mt from 12.1mt and increased masur’s (lentil) to 1.75mt from 1.63mt. In 2022-23, the country produced 12.26mt of chana and 1.56mt of masur.

As far as oilseeds are concerned, the country is estimated to produce 13mt of soybean compared to 14.9mt produced last year and rapeseed & mustard is estimated to be 13.1mt, higher than last year’s 12.6mt, the agriculture ministry said.

Cash crop production

In contrast, the government sees cash crops such as cotton and sugarcane production lower at 32.5 million bales (1 bale = 170 kg) against last year’s 33.6 million bales and at 442.5mt compared to 490.5mt in 2022-23, respectively. The agriculture ministry on Tuesday also released second estimates of production of horticulture crop for 2023-24. Horticulture production in the country in 2023-24 is estimated to be about 35.2mt, a fall from 2022-23’s 35.5mt. This is due to a drop in vegetable production, especially potatoes and onions.

The production of Shree Anna, or millets, is estimated to be 17.4mt, a marginal increase from 2022-23 production. Further, production of Nutri or Coarse Cereals is seen to be 54.7mt, an increase of 4.6mt from last year.

Onion production is expected to be at 24.2mt compared to 30.2mt last year and potato output is seen at 56.7mt, a decrease of about 3.4mt. The fall in potato production is attributed to lower output in Bihar and West Bengal.

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