Powered by good monsoon, India set for best-ever foodgrain output -Vishwa Mohan & Dipak K Dash

-The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Backed by good monsoon and advanced preparedness to reap the benefits of favourable conditions, India is likely to have an all-time record foodgrain production (271.98 million tonnes) in the 2016-17 crop year - a scenario which may not only benefit farmers but also help in further bringing down the price of pulses that was sky-rocketed due to two consecutive drought years.

Besides the production of pulses which may also make an all-time record, production of wheat, rice, coarse cereals and oilseeds too are heading to surpass their previous record.

The estimated figures, released by the agriculture ministry on Wednesday, show that the current year's production is significantly higher by 20.41 million tonnes (MT) than the last year's foodgrain production. It is also higher by 14.97 MT than the previous five years' (2011-12 to 2015-16) average output of foodgrains. The country had recorded its previous best in 2013-14 with total output of 265.04 MT.

The ministry in its report attributed the higher production this year to good rainfall during 2016 monsoon and various policy interventions including streamlining the timely distribution of inputs like seeds and fertilizers through the states' networks.

"Increase in the minimum support price (MSP) and assured procurement also encouraged farmers to take up pulses cultivation in a big way", said an official. He noted that the dissemination of crucial weather and crop-related information through the local extension service networks also helped.

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The Times of India, 16 February, 2017, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/government-estimates-an-all-time-record-foodgrain-production-this-year/articleshow/57172576.cms

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