A winning kharif season for Bharat
With only just over a week remaining of the usual June to September monsoon season, the first estimates of crop production for the year 2016-17 have brought welcome news to Bharat.
The estimates are the first in the normal series of four which are released through the crop year 2016-17 by the Ministry of Agriculture ad Farmers’ Welfare. What they show is important for two reasons.
First, they come against doubts that have been raised in various quarters since the last week of August about the adequacy of the 2016 summer monsoon. Second, they show that the effects of the drought and drought-like conditions that gripped a number of districts of Bharat from March to May have not affected crop production. These are important messages both.
Coming to the numbers released, the production of kharif rice is on target: 93.88 million tons (mt) against the target of 93 mt. The production of ‘coarse cereals’ (which includes jowar, bajra, maize, ragi, small millets and barley) is on target: 32.46 mt against the target of 32.50 mt. The production of pulses (which includes tur or arhar, gram, urad, moong, and other kharif pulses) above target: 8.7 mt against the target of 7.25 mt.
The overall outlook then for kharif season production is foodgrains of about 135 mt (final amounts will be subject to revision as states confirm their data).