Major crop production to dip by 2.3% in FY'13: report


Output of major crops, both food and non-food, is expected to decline by about 2.3 per cent in 2012-13 as sowing has remained sluggish, economic think tank CMIE has said.

"Production of major crops is projected to decline in 2012-13. A fall in output of both food and non-food crops is expected to dip by 2.3 per cent," Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said in its monthly report.

Kharif acreage continued to remain sluggish as of September 28, and sowing dipped by 5.5 per cent to 971 lakh hectares, it pointed out.

The report projects a fall of 4.6 per cent in kharif foodgrain production in 2012-13.

"Our estimates of rice, coarse grain and pulses output are higher than Agriculture Ministry's estimates. We expect late sowing and an improvement in weather conditions to narrow the decline in kharif food grain production to 123.7 million tonne in 2012-13," it said.

Kharif rice cultivation dipped by over four per cent to 367.7 hectares by September 28 and is expected to fall by three per cent to 88.7 million tonne in FY13, it further said.

"We project a healthy 6.3 per cent growth in rabi rice production in 2012-13, consequently, the total rice output is projected to decrease by a smaller 1.9 per cent to 102.3 million tonne," CMIE said.

The coarse cereals are the worst affected by the irregularities in rainfall.

Coarse cereals production is projected to decrease by 7.9 per cent to 38.5 million tonne in 2012-13, of which 29 million tonne is estimated to be produced during the ongoing kharif season, it said.

Production of pulses is estimated to fall by 1.3 per cent to 16.9 million tonne in 2012-13. This is mainly due to decline in production of pulses other than gram and tur.

Output of these pulses is projected to be lower at 6.3 million tonne in 2012-13, of which, 3.1 million tonne is expected to be produced in the kharif season.  

Production of oilseeds is expected to dip by 1.2 per cent mainly due to lower output of cotton seed, CMIE said.

However, production of major nine oilseeds is projected to grow. A stable production of soyabeans and 6.3 per cent projected rise in rape seed will drive growth in major oilseeds, it said.

Production of major kharif oilseeds, such as groundnuts, sesames and castor is projected to fall. Output of groundnuts and castor is projected to decline by 1.8 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.

Hence, CMIE said, kharif production of major oilseeds is projected to fall by nearly two per cent to 20.4 million tonne.

Sugarcane production is projected to scale up by 0.8 per cent to 354 million tonne as sowing ended higher by 4.4 per cent at 52.9 lakh hectares by August 31.

However, the overall agriculture sector is expected to do well in 2012-13.

A modest growth in minor crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries will offset the 2.3 per cent fall in major crop production, thus, lifting the growth in the agriculture sector to 1.6 per cent in 2012-13, it said.

The total food grain production is projected to fall by two per cent to 251.6 million tonne in 2012-13. Non-food crop production is expected to dip by a steeper 2.7 per cent in 2012-13, it said.

Among the non-food crops, the sharpest fall is expected in cotton production. "We expect sluggish sowing to limit cotton production to 32.2 million bales in 2012-13," it said.