Rain deficit means less food this year

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

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.

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