Retreating rain lifts govt hopes of 5% rise in rabi crop out

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Old 23-Sep-2015
Post Retreating rain lifts govt hopes of 5% rise in rabi crop out

Good rainfall in the past one week has raised the hopes of the government to improve the foodgrain production in the rabi season. The government believes that despite deficient monsoon the country's foodgrain production could rise by over five per cent to nearly 133 million tonnes (MT) in the coming rabi season.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today said the government was expecting a higher foodgrain output in the rabi season than last year despite less rainfall.
“In the last one week or so, there has been a good rainfall in the rain deficient states, so we have set an ambitious target of 132.78 MT (of foodgrain production) in the rabi season this year," he said. The monsoon deficit so far was 14 per cent, the minister said.
According to the fourth advance estimate released last month, the foodgrain production from rabi (winter) crops in 2014-15 crop year was estimated at 126.38 MT, though the Centre had set a target of 130.75 MT of foodgrain production. The sowing of rabi crops starts in the first week of October and its harvesting begins in last week of March. The production of wheat — the main Rabi crop — is estimated to have declined to 88.94 MT in 2014-15 crop year as against a record 95.85 MT achieved in the previous season.
The government recently projected the country's total foodgrain production to drop by 1.78 per cent to 124.05 MT in the 2015-16 kharif (summer) season on the back of poor monsoon and a drought-like situation in some states. The country's total foodgrain production is estimated to have declined by 4.66 per cent to 252.68 MT in 2014-15 crop year owing to poor monsoon and unseasonal rains in February and March.
The country had registered a record foodgrain production of 265.04 MT in 2013-14 crop year.
Regarding the steps taken by the government to minimise the effects of deficient rainfall, Singh said to compensate farmers in the event of delay and deficient rainfall, enhanced seed subsidy was provided for oilseed crops. "The subsidy went up from Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,800 per quintal in case of normal varieties and from Rs 2,500 to Rs 2,700 per quintal for hybrid varieties of oil seeds," he said.
To address the needs of drought-affected areas, the government has announced the implementation of diesel subsidy scheme for crops irrigation with an allocation of Rs 100 crore, he said.
To check rising imports and prices, Singh said the government was concentrating promoting rabi pulses through National Food Security Mission (NFSM). "The NFSM-pulses is being implemented in 622 districts of 27 states, including hill and north-eastern states to promote the cultivation of pulses," he said, adding that an outlay of Rs 440 crore has also been proposed to raise the output of pulses.
Likewise in oilseeds, he suggested replacing low yielding wheat area with mustard to help reduce the dependency on import and also provide better returns to farmers.

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