First estimates put kharif food grain production at 150.5 mn tonnes

The Centre on Tuesday announced that the first advance estimate for major Kharif crops for 2021-22 showed food grain production at 150.5 million tonnes (MT) and oil seeds at 23.39 MT.

The estimate for crop production includes 107.04 MT rice, which is a record production figure, 34 MT nutri/coarse cereals, 21.24 MT maize, 9.45 MT pulses, and 4.43 MT tur while there is estimated production of 8.25 MT groundnut oil and 12.72 MT soyabean, an Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Ministry statement said.

Earlier, the Ministry had said it has targeted a total of 307.33 MT total production for crop production year 2021-22 – 151.43 MT for Kharif season and 155.88 MT for Rabi.

The total targets include 121.10 MT of rice (104.30 MT in Kharif and 16.80 MT in Rabi) and 110 MT of wheat (all in Rabi) while total target for oilseeds is set at 38.40 MT (26.0 MT in Kharif and 12.40 MT in Rabi), the Ministry said in another release.

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, said: “There has been bumper production due to the hard work of farmers, proficiency of scientists and farmer-friendly policies of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

The total food grain production is higher by 12.71 MT than the average production of previous five years (2015-16 to 2019-20). Total production of Kharif rice during 2021-22, is higher by 9.21 million tonnes than the previous five years’ average of 97.83 MT, the release said.

Production of Kharif nutri/coarse cereals is higher by 2.11 MT than the average production of 31.89 MT while total Kharif pulses production is higher by 1.39 MT than average pulses production of 8.06 MT.

Total Kharif oilseeds production during 2021-22 is higher by 2.96 MT than the average oilseeds production of 20.42 MT.

Total production of sugarcane during 2021-22 is estimated at 419.25 MT, which is higher by 57.18 MT than the average production of 362.07 MT. Similarly, production of cotton is estimated at 36.22 million bales (of 170 kg each) and production of jute and mesta estimated at 9.61 million bales (of 180 kg each).

“The Centre is fully committed to supporting the states to increase production and productivity and to face the challenges posed by climate change and rainfed agriculture,” Tomar said after inaugurating the national conference on ‘Agriculture for Rabi campaign 2021-22’, through video conferencing.

The conference’s objective was to review and assess the performance during the preceding crop season and fix crop-wise targets for Rabi season in consultation with state governments, to ensure supply of critical inputs, and facilitate adoption of innovative technologies with a view to enhance production and productivity of crops.

Claiming that the country has recorded all time high food grain and oilseeds production due to timely interventions of the government, Agriculture Commissioner, Dr S.K. Malhotra, in his detailed presentation on the strategies for crop management in Rabi season, said: “Now, special focus is being given on oilseeds, pulses and Nutri-cereals.”

Minister for State for Agriculture, Shobha Karandlaje, said the states should ensure that the quality seeds and fertilisers are provided to farmers.

During Kharif 2021-22, 10.90 lakh seed mini-kits of pulses (arhar, urad and moong) were distributed and for Rabi 2021-22, a record number of seed mini-kits of lentils – 2.06 lakh – have been allocated to the states. In case of oilseeds, 2.14 lakh seed mini-kits (soybean, ground nut, and sesamum) have been distributed during Kharif 2021-22 and 8.67 lakh seed mini-kits (mustard, groundnut, linseed, and safflower) have been allocated for Rabi 2021-22 to “help in increasing productivity”.

Agriculture Secretary, Sanjay Agarwal, Fertilisers Secretary, Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi and Indian Council of Agricultural Research Director General, Trilochan Mahapatra, guided the deliberations with states on challenges and strategies for crop management during Rabi cultivation.