The country is estimated to achieve an all-time high food grains production of 295.67 million tonnes in 2019-20 crop year, the fourth consecutive year of record production, buoyed by good rains, the Agriculture Ministry's latest data released on Friday said.
According to the data, the estimated output of food grains this year is up 3.67 per cent over the year-ago period and has even crossed its target of 291.10 million tonnes, which it had set before the beginning of the 2019-20 sowing season.
Total food grains production includes crops grown during both kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons. At present, harvesting of rabi crops is in the final stages amid the COVID-19 crisis.
This is the fourth consecutive year-on-year higher output of food grain since 2016-17 crop year (July-June). The previous record was 285.21 million tonnes during the 2018-19 crop year.
"The cumulative rainfall in the country during the monsoon season (June to September, 2019) had been 10 per cent higher than the Long Period Average (LPA).
Accordingly, the production of most of the crops for the agricultural year 2019-20 has been estimated higher than their normal production," the ministry said releasing the third estimate of production.
Among all crops, the output of wheat -- the main rabi crop -- is estimated at an all-time high level of 107.18 million tonnes in 2019-20, up from 103.60 million tonnes previous year. Harvesting of wheat crop is in the final stage of completion.
Similarly, the output of rice -- the main kharif crop -- is estimated to be a record 117.94 million tonnes this year, higher from 116.48 million tonnes last year.
At the same time, the production of coarse cereals is estimated to be a record 47.54 million tonnes as against 43.06 million tonnes in the said period.
Production of maize is pegged at a record 28.98 million tonnes this year, up from 27.72 million tonnes in the 2018-19 crop year, but barley output is estimated to lower at 1.59 million tonnes as against 1.63 million tonnes in the said period.
In case of pulses, total production is estimated to increase to 23.01 million tonnes this year from 22.08 million tonnes last year. Of which, tur production is pegged at 3.75 million tonnes and chana at 10.90 million tonne for this year.
Food grains basket comprises wheat, rice, coarse cereals and pulses.
As far as oilseeds were concerned, total production is estimated to increase marginally to 33.50 million tonnes in the 2019-20 crop year from 31.52 million tonnes last year.
Among cash crops, the country would see an all-time high production of cotton at 36.04 million bales (of 170 kg each) in the current year, much higher than 28.04 million bales last year. The previous record was 35.90 million bales in 2013-14 crop year.
Meanwhile, sugarcane production is estimated to decline to 358.13 million tonnes this year from 405.4 million tonnes last year due to fall in production mainly in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The output of jute is estimated flat at 9.43 million bales (of 180 kg) this year as against 9.49 million bales in 2018-19 crop year, while mesta output is estimated to increase to 4.89 million bales from 3.23 million tonnes in the said period.
Although the third estimate might just be revised after harvest of rabi crops, the final output figures may not be less than what is estimated right now.
The Agricultural Ministry releases four advance estimates of production followed by a final estimate. In fact, the fourth advance estimates are considered as good as the final estimates.