Govt hopeful of achieving record food grain target

Govt hopeful of achieving record food grain target

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The government on Monday said it is hopeful of achieving the record foodgrain production target of 291.1 million tonnes for the 2019-20 crop year even as floods in some parts are expected to hit kharif crops.

"There will be some impact of floods on the production. However the loss will be recovered," Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said.

Teams have been sent to flood-hit states to assess the production loss. They are in the process, he told reporters on the sidelines of an ICAR event.

The Agriculture Ministry has set the production target for foodgrains at a record 291.1 million tonnes for 2019-20 crop year (July-June), comprising 147.9 million tonnes in kharif (summer) season and 143.2 million tonnes during rabi (winter) season.

Exuding confidence in achieving this year's production target, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said: "Sowing area under kharif crops has improved. The deficit in coverage has narrowed down from 30 per cent earlier to three per cent now. More area will be covered as sowing is still underway in some states."

The lag in rice acreage will be covered as sowing is still continuing in Odisha and West Bengal. The area under pulses is marginally down but yields will be better, he added.

"Overall, things will be perfect. We expect to meet the production target set for this year," Agarwal noted.

Echoing views, Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said heavy rains do affect crops but it will benefit sowing in the next rabi season.

"There will be some impact on kharif crops but that will be covered. Heavy rains in this season will boost rabi sowing."

Sowing of kharif crops, which begins with the onset of the southwest monsoon (June-September), is underway.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted a ‘normal’ monsoon. There was a delay in the onset of southwest monsoon but later it picked up. However, states like Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat, Bihar, Assam, and Maharasthra are hit by floods due to heavy rains that have impacted kharif crops.

In 2018-19, the foodgrain production was 281.37 million tonnes against the target of 290.25 million tonnes.

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