In­dia’s wheat har­vest drops by 1.42% in 2017-18: Govt es­ti­mate

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

NEWDELHI: In­dia’s wheat out­put is likely to be lower by 1.42% at 97.11 mil­lion tones (MT) in 2017-18, against a record 98.51 MT in 2016-17, the gov­ern­ment’s sec­ond of four quar­terly es­ti­mates shows.

The coun­try’s over­all food­grain out­put is pro­jected to be 277.49 MT in the 2017-18 against 275.11MT last year.

“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.

With a plen­ti­ful har­vest, the gov­ern­ment will have to en­sure prof­itable prices for farm­ers, who have staged protests in many states due to de­pressed prices.

The wheat fall is mainly on ac­count of a 4.27 % drop in plant­ing area, which stood at 30.42 mil­lion hectares in the cur­rent rabi sea­son.

The area has de­creased be­cause many farm­ers are grow­ing pulses in­stead of wheat in states such as Mad­hya Pradesh.

The coun­try’s rice out­put is pegged 1.31% higher at 111.01 MT this year, as against 109.70 MT last year.

The out­put of pulses is ex­pected to be 23.95 MT this year, up from 23.13 MT last year.

Soy­abean, a key oilseed, is likely to de­cline to 11.39 MT this year from 13.79 MT in 2016-17.

Cot­ton out­put is also pegged higher at 33.92 mil­lion bales (of 170 kg each) against 32.58 mil­lion bales last year.

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