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Kharif crop output might be steady this season says ICAR.
- India had produced a record 142.75 million tonne (MT) of foodgrains — rice, wheat, pulses and coarse cereals — in 2018 kharif even as the monsoon was 9% below normal.
- ICAR said, amid concerns over a possible shortfall in output due to lower acreage and deficit rainfall, government’s agriculture research agency ICAR has said the production in the current kharif season would be “more or less same as that of last year.”
- The farmers will continue planting paddy, the main crop of kharif season, until August-end, ICAR’s director-general Trilochan Mohapatra said and expressed confidence that the current shortfall in sowing area would be recovered.
- India had produced a record 142.75 million tonne (MT) of foodgrains — rice, wheat, pulses and coarse cereals — in 2018 kharif even as the monsoon was 9% below normal. This year, the sowing of kharif crops is slow due to late and deficient monsoon. The total acreage of kharif crops was down 9% until July 12 from a year-ago level while paddy area was lower by 11%.
- Due to higher yielding and drought- and flood-resistant varieties developed by the agency, the rice production has increased from 85 MT in 2008-09 (kharif) to 102 MT in 2018-19, while the area remains the same at 39-40 million hectare.
- Any shortfall in foodgrains production in deficient area would be offset by higher yield in regions where there is normal or excess rainfall.
- According to the India Meteorological Department, the seasonal monsoon rainfall was 14% lower than normal while 46% of the geographical areas has received normal rain, as of July 16. The ICAR D-G also said rains in the coming months would be crucial. The weather bureau has predicted normal rain in August and September.
The farm sector is facing many challenges in form of water scarcity, providing right prices to farmers for their produce, market linkage and achieving sharp jump in agri-exports. He said availability of water to farmers has become a challenge and advocated efforts to boost yield of rain-fed crops.