The country’s Kharif crop has entered into harvesting phase after the first two months of deficit rainfall in June & July and heavy downpour in August & September. First advanced estimates by the ministry of agriculture shows cereals production at 140.58 million tons for 2019-20, down by 0.80% from the 4th advanced estimates of 2018-19. Paddy production estimated at 100.35 million tons, down by 1.74% while maize showed increased production at 19.89 million tons, up by 4.46%. These production estimates are lower than the targeted production numbers. Heavy rainfall in August and September has damaged the standing crop, which was in pod setting stage.
Estimates show production of pulses lowered by 4.19% for 2019-20 at 8.23 million tons as against the targeted production of 10.10 million tons. Among pulses, 'moong' production (split green gram) showed decline of 22.83% at 1.42 million tons, while oilseeds production increased by 5.22% at 223.89 million tons but lower than targeted production of 258.39 million tons. Groundnut showed major increase in production at 63.11 lakh tons, up by 17.68%. Castor seed production estimates show an increase of 42.96% at 17.37 lakh tons. Sugarcane production was lowered by 5.60% at 3,777.66 lakh tons while cotton production increased by 12.40% at 322.67 lakh bales of 170 kg each.
In all the product categories, the first advanced estimates are lower than targeted levels as there are concerns of reduced yield due to crop damage following erratic rainfall in August and September. These are first advanced estimates and these numbers could change in subsequent advanced estimates based on harvesting and arrival of the crop to major markets. (The author is Head - Commodity Research at Karvy Comtrade Limited)