Rain deficit means less food this year
MONSOON HAS retreated, leaving a rain deficit of 12 per cent in the country. Agriculture ministry's advance estimates say this would result in a seven per cent drop in food grain production this year, a cause of concern for the government already fighting food inflation. Estimates say total food grain production this year will be 120 million tonnes (mt). Rice production would decline to 88.02 mt in the kharif season of 2014-15 from 91.69 mt last year. Similarly, production of coarse cereals is projected to drop to 27.05 mt from 31.53 mt, while pulses output would be lower at 5.2 mt from 6.02 mt. Compared to last year, the total area under kharif crops this year is lower by three per cent.