Free Press Journal

Record foodgrain output likely, govt feat is in agri: Pawar


New Delhi: Foodgrain production is likely to reach all-time high level this year as a bumper crop is expected in wheat, rice and pulses on the back of good rain, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said today.

Wheat production is likely to cross 100 million tonnes for the first time in 2013-14, surpassing the previous record of 94.88 million tonnes achieved in 2011-12 crop year (July-June), he said.

The Minister also exuded the confidence that the farm sector will grow 4 per cent this fiscal as against around 2 per cent in the previous year.

“Overall, foodgrain output is expected to be all-time highest in 2013-14. We are expected to have record production in wheat, rice, pulses and cotton,” Pawar told PTI.

India achieved a record foodgrain production of 259.29 million tonnes in 2011-12. Output fell to 255.36 million tonnes in 2012-13 due to drought in some parts of the country.

Good monsoon in 2013 helped farmers increase area under cultivation in both kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons in the current crop year. Wheat area has touched a record of over 31 million hectares.

Asked about wheat crop, Pawar said the wheat acreage and the crop condition is extremely good. “I think we will break all previous records. Wheat production is expected to be over 100 million tonnes this year. Good weather and rain have boosted wheat crop prospects.”

Pulses and oilseeds production would be more but still short of domestic demand, he added.

On sugar, he said the output would be much more than the country’s requirement.

“Overall agricultural growth in this fiscal will reach 4 per cent. This government’s achievement is in agriculture,” Pawar said.