New Delhi - The foodgrain production in India in 2017-18 year starting July was targeted at 276.55 million tonnes though sowing area this kharif season has shrunk by about 770,000 hectares, government data showed.
The grain output during kharif would be pegged at 137 million tonnes while it would be a little more during the rabi season, Agriculture Commissioner S.K. Malhotra said at the National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign here.
If the grain output target was achieved, it would break the record estimated output of 275.68 million tonnes in 2016-17.
Interestingly, estimated production of major crops such as rice and wheat had shown a reduction from 110.15 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 108.50 million tonnes in 2017-18 for rice and from 98.38 million tonnes to 97.50 million tonnes for wheat.
On other hand, the projections have shown an increase in coarse cereals' output from 44.19 million tonnes last year to 45.65 million tonnes.
Acreage for kharif crops including rice, pulses and oil seeds this year had gone down by 770,000 hectares compared with the previous year, the data says.
The area under kharif crops this year was an estimated 104.94 million hectares as against 105.71 million hectares during the corresponding period last year, Malhotra said.
The main kharif crop, rice, was sown in 37.40 million hectares, a decrease of 510,000 hectares compared with the previous kharif season.
Similarly, the area under pulses was estimated at 14.04 million hectares, a decrease of 51,000 hectares with a marginal drop in output this year.
The acreage under oil seeds has gone down by 1,660,000 hectares to 17.20 million hectares this year though the government figures have estimated an increase in output from 32.10 million tonnes to 35.50 million tonnes.
India relies on heavy import of pulses and oil seeds to meet domestic demand.
According to the government data, around 5.88 million tonnes of pulses were imported in 2015-16 after the annual production slumped to 16.35 million tonnes.
Also, India's edible oil imports reached 63 per cent of the total consumption in 2015-16.
Red gram, locally known as arhar or tur, was sown in 4.30 million tonnes, a decrease of 9,40,000 hectares this year. However, the acreage under black gram has increased by 7,50,000 hectares.
The area under the major oil seed crops such as groundnut and soybean has shrunk, a decrease of 540,000 hectares for groundnut and 890,000 hectares for soybean.
On the other hand, acreage under commercial crops such as sugar cane and cotton has increased substantially, by 43,000 hectares and 11,93,000 hectares respectively.
Production of sugarcane was estimated to go up from 306.72 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 355 million tonnes in 2017-18.
Similarly, output of cotton was expected go up from 33.09 million bales (each of 170 kg) to 33.50 million bales.
Area under coarse cereals has reduced by 390,000 hectares to 18.45 million hectares this kharif season though government figures indicate an increase in production from 44.19 million tonnes to 45.65 million tonnes in 2017-18.
The output of jute and mesta was expected to increase from 10.60 million bales (each of 180 kg) last year to 11.80 million bales, though the acreage has gone down marginally by 50,000 hectares.