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Bumper rice and wheat output pushes grain yield close to 285 million tonnes

Staples make up for dip in pulses and coarse cereals

Rice and wheat production in the country scaled new heights to make up for the dip in pulses and coarse cereals output and took total foodgrain output in 2018-19 to 284.95 million tonnes (mt), matching the 285 mt foodgrains produced in the previous year (2017-18), according to the fourth advance foodgrain estimates released by the Agriculture Ministry on Monday.

Despite a below-par monsoon, rice output touched 116.42 mt mt, nearly 3.25 per cent more than the 112.76 mt produced in 2017-18, while wheat production crossed the three-digit mark for the first time to achieve 102.19 mt, thanks to a favourable, prolonged winter

Pulses output, on the other hand, came down to 23.4 mt as compared to 25.42 mt; coarse cereals production, at 42.95 mt, was nearly 8.6 per cent lower than last year.

Oilseeds production was at 32.26 mt, slightly better than the 31.46 mt produced in 2017-18.

Among the pulses crops that took a major hit last year were tur, whose output was 3.59 mt (4.29 mt last year), gram 10.13 mt (11.38 mt) and urad whose production was 3.26 mt (3.49 mt).

At 2.35 mt, the production of moong on the other hand was higher than last year’s 3.03 mt, it said.

The output of all major coarse cereals in 2018-19 was lower than than in the previous year. While maize output was 27.23 mt as against 28.75 mt last year, that of bajra was 8.61 mt as compared to 9.21 mt in 2017-18.

 

Soya production up

A substantial increase in soyabean production in 2018-19 more than covered for the shrinkage in groundnut output. While soyabean output in 2018-19 was 13.79 mt, as against 10.93 mt earlier, groundnut yield dropped to 6.7 mt as against 9.25 mt in 2017-18. The output of rapeseed and mustard too was pretty impressive at 9.34 mt as compared to 8.43 mt the year before.

Pest infestation, however, impacted cotton production drastically with output being pegged at 28.71 million bales (one bale is 170 kg) as against 32.81 million bales in 2017-18. Sugar output on the other hand was 5 per cent higher at 400 mt.

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