Kharif Crop Production This Year To Be Higher Than Last Year, Says Agriculture Minister
Rain droplets glisten on rice growing in a field of farmland in the Bhagpat district of Uttar Pradesh, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  

Kharif Crop Production This Year To Be Higher Than Last Year, Says Agriculture Minister


India's crop production in the Kharif season (summer-sown) will be higher than last year's 141.71 million tonne on better monsoon rains, Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said on Friday.

The minister said Kharif crops were affected in some states because of floods but it would not have much impact on the overall production.

"The condition of Kharif crop is good. In some places, there is crop damage because of excessive rains. Still, we will have bumper production in Kharif season, higher than last year," Rupala told reporters in New Delhi on the sidelines of National Conference on Agriculture -- Rabi Campaign.

As many as 12 states have been affected by floods.

However, he said, "the plant growth is good because of rains on regular intervals."

Area sown to summer crops remained flat at 1,054.13 lakh hectare so far in the ongoing kharif season of the 2019-20 crop year (July-June).

Area sown to rice was down by 5.25 lakh hectare to 378.62 lakh hectare so far this season and pulses by 2.41 lakh hectare to 132.99 lakh hectare, as per the latest government data.

However, acreage of coarse cereals was up by 3.1 lakh hectare to 178.12 lakh hectare, while that of oilseeds remained flat at 178 lakh hectare in the said period.

The official said the prospects of rabi sowing looks bright because of better soil moisture on account of good monsoon now and reservoirs are also full.

He also noted that rabi crops are mostly grown in irrigated area. Acreage of maize and mustard seed is expected to be higher in the rabi season.

Earlier addressing the conference, Rupala asked the states to focus on increasing the area and production of oilseeds and reduce the country's dependence on import of edible oils.

"We have become almost self-sufficient in pulses. There is a need to reduce dependence on edible oil imports by focusing on increasing domestic output of oilseeds. The states should encourage farmers to grow oilseeds," he said.

He also directed his officials as well as state governments to take measures for faster clearance of crop insurance claims.

Stating that there has been an incursion of the desert locust, a kind of grasshopper, in Rajasthan, the Minister asked Punjab and Gujarat governments to be vigilant and tackle this problem to minimise its impact.

A central team is already assessing the situation in Rajasthan and taking all measures, he added.

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