Spices, potatoes, tomatoes, chilies production estimated lower this year

Production of many important spices, potatoes, tomatoes and both red and green chillies is estimated to be less in 2021-22 compared to 2020-21, as per the data released on Thursday.

The second advance estimates of horticulture crop and area data shows that a general increase in production of fruits, vegetables and honey is expected while there will be a decrease in production of spices, flowers, aromatics and medicinal plants and plantation crops over previous year.

However, overall total horticulture production in 2021-22 is estimated to be 341.63 million tonnes (MT), an increase of about 7.03 MT or 2.10 per cent over the 2020-21 production, as per the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare data.

Onion production is estimated to be 31.70 MT against 26.64 MT in 2020-21, potato production is expected to be 53.58 MT compared to 56.17 MT in 2020-21, while tomato production is expected to be 20.34 MT compared to 21.18 MT in 2020-21, the data showed.

For green chillies, it is expected to be 4.2 MT this year compared to 4.3 MT last year while production of red chillies (dried) is expected to be 1.8 MT versus 2 MT last year.

Asked if these estimates would have an impact on the market prices, Potato and Onion Merchants Association head, Rajendra Sharma said: “These are figures up to March 2022 that the government is releasing only now. People have finished consuming the produce from up to March. Whatever we now have in the market is from April, May and June, so it should not make a difference.”

Sharma, who is also the former President of Federation of Fruit and Vegetables Trade Associations of Delhi, also added that the current produce in the market will be in use till October almost as the rain months bring almost nothing much from any of these to the market.

Overall, fruit production is estimated to be 107.10 MT compared to 102.48 MT in 2020-21 while the production of vegetables is estimated to be 204.61 MT, compared to 200.45 MT in 2020-21.

Among the spices, production of ajwain, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and black pepper is estimated to be less than previous year.

Production of all major plantation crops – arecanut, cashewnut and coconut – too is estimated to be less than previous year, the Agriculture Department data showed.

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