Backed by Normal Monsoon Forecast, Center Sets Record Food Grain Production Target of 307 MT for 2021-22 | India News
New Delhi: Based on the forecast for ‘normal’ monsoon rains this year, the Center on Friday it set a record food grain production target of 307 million tonnes (MT) for the 2021-22 crop season (July-June cycle). The target is 1.3% (4 MT) higher than the estimated food grain production of 303 MT in the year 2020-21 hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although almost all food grains saw a higher target compared to the previous year’s production, the government set the higher target (4% more than in 2020-21) for coarse, weather-resistant cereals that consume less water, such as jowar, bajra, corn, ragi and small millet.
Under the 2021-22 targets, water-consuming wheat, legumes and paddy fields (rice) may experience growth of less than 1% compared to their 2020-21 production. The overall 307 MT target includes 151 MT of Kharif crops (including 121 MT of rice) and 156 MT of Rabi crops, including 110 MT of wheat.
The new higher target for almost all food grains was released during the Kharif conference, where the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday discussed the preparation of the next planting season with representatives of the states in the context of the prospect of good rains and well distributed during the monsoon season from June to September.
The Department of Meteorology of India (IM D) had forecasted general ‘normal’ monsoon rains during the June-September period across the country on April 16, saying seasonal precipitation is likely to be 98% of the long-term average (LPA) with a model error of +/- 5%. The LPA of the rainy season in the whole country for the period 1961-2010 is 88 cm. Precipitation over 96-104% of the LPA is considered “normal”, while rainfall below 90% of the LPA is considered poor (drought year).
The IMD prediction shows that the 2021 monsoon will be the third consecutive year of good rains after 2019 and 2020 that saw a good jump in overall food grain production in 2019-20 and 2020-21. On the other hand, in two consecutive years of drought (2014 and 2015) there was a drop in the production of food grains in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 agricultural seasons, which reflects the importance of a good monsoon in the country, which is highly dependent on rainfed agriculture. .
Referring to the contribution of agriculture to GDP that increased from 17.8% in 2019-20 to 19.9% in 2020-21, Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar at the opening of the Conference pointed out how the sector has shown resistance in amidst the adversities of the Covid-19 pandemic and assured all states help drive growth.
However, he expressed concern about the shortage of oilseeds and legumes, and called on states to work in mission mode to overcome the shortage situation. Tomar also urged state representatives to identify those areas that are following organic agriculture and are chemical-free so that they can be certified organic and linked to the market.
In addition to analyzing the availability of inputs for the next planting season, the participants also discussed the preparation for situations similar to drought if it occurs in any district, the strategy for the production of oilseeds and legumes; acquisition of crops at a minimum support price (SMEs) and action plan and guidelines for the management of farms in the wake of the current pandemic.