Foodgrain Output for 2017 Pegged at 272 mt
New Delhi: The government has forecast a robust 8% growth in farm output this year after bountiful monsoon rains, raising prospects of stronger rural demand for consumer goods, automobiles and gold, and strong economic growth. The strong growth comes after a drought ravaged the fields for two years and heightened rural distress, but the expected output betters the record production of 2013-14 by 2.6%.
“Higher food grain production is good news for economy, especially rural. This should help stabilise prices,” said Ashok Gulati, agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.
However, he said it was important to wait for the rabi harvest to get a clear picture. The rabi crop is progressing well, but it can suffer if there is unseasonal rain or hailstorms on the eve of the harvest. Gulati said government must ensure that official agencies procure crops if prices tumble.
Total foodgrain output will be 271.98 million tonnes, according to the agriculture ministry’s second advance estimates of major crops. The first advance estimate was issued in September 2016. The third estimate will be released by May and the fourth one by August.
“As a result of good rainfall during monsoon 2016 and various policy initiatives taken by the government, the country has witnessed record foodgrain production in the current year,” the agriculture ministry said.
The estimate is 20.41million tonnes, or 8.11%, higher production at 251.57 million tonnes during 2015-16 and even higher than the record output of 265.04 million tonnes in the 2013-14 crop year.