India is likely to achieve an all-time high production of more than 297 million tons of food grain in 2020-21, the fifth consecutive year of record production, according to the government’s second estimate, which is due to be released soon.
This will be a little more than the fourth advance estimate of 2019-20, which is over 296 million tonnes. However, the estimated production is less than 301 million tons of food grain intended for 2020-21.
‘We expect the target to be met. Before finalizing production for this year, there will be three more estimates. The figure will increase in subsequent estimates,’ said the Ministry of Agriculture.
According to the second estimate to be released soon, the production of wheat is likely to be around 107 million tonnes, while the production of rice may reach a record high of 119 million tonnes. The production of pulses will be at 23 million tons last year, while the production of oilseeds is set to increase.
“After achieving self-sufficiency in pulses, our focus is on increasing oil seed production to reduce dependence on edible oil imports. This year, we are likely to cross 34 million tonnes, compared to last year’s fourth estimate of 33.4 million tonnes. Oil seed production will increase in the years to come,” the official stated.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and the protest of farmers, the projection of record output is significant. Punjab, which was the focal point of farmers’ protests, had a record 13.58 million tons of rice, 24 per cent more than last year.
“There has so far been no impact of the pandemic and the protests of farmers on farm activities in the country. Farmers in Punjab actively participated in the procurement exercise and sown wheat across regions at last year’s level,” said the officials.
The year-on-year record production resulted in an increase in agricultural exports, which increased by 25 per cent to ₹ 1.02 Lakh Crore in the first three quarters of fiscal 2020-21.
‘The increase is primarily due to a sharp rise of 52 percent in exports of cereals such as wheat, rice and other nutrient-cereals, including maize, millet and jowar. Many of the countries facing food shortages have stocked up in the midst of the uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,’ the official stated.