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Govt sees record kharif crop output despite deficient monsoon

PTI     July 21, 2015

The country is likely to harvest a record production of pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals in this year's kharif season on higher acreage under these crops so far despite the prediction of a deficient monsoon.

The previous peak in coarse cereals and pulses output was 33.08 million tonnes and 7.12 million tonnes each achieved in the 2010-11 kharif season, while the record oilseeds output of 22.61 million tonnes was witnessed in 2013-14 kharif season.

The sowing in the kharif (summer) season begins with the onset of the southwest monsoon from June, while the harvesting starts from October.

"There has been a significant increase in area under pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals so far and we expect a record production of these crops," Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told PTI.

The prospect of these crops is good and adequate measures have been put in place to reduce the impact of possible deficient rains in some parts of the country, he said.

According to the latest data, area sown to pulses has increased to 5.59 million hectare till last week of the kharif season of 2015-16 crop year (July-June), as against 2.39 million hectare in the year-ago period.

Similarly, area sown to coarse cereals has increased to 10.24 million hectare from 4.76 million hectare, while that of oilseeds has risen to 12.7 million hectare from 3.8 million hectare in the year-ago period.

Singh said higher minimum support price and other measures taken under various programmes has encouraged farmers to bring more area under these crops.

The Met Department has projected deficient rains this year too. It said July and August will receive 8 and 10 per cent less rainfall, respectively.

Higher production in pulses and oilseeds is necessary to boost the domestic availability of lentils and edible oils and reduce the country's dependence on imports.

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