TThe country's agriculture sector is expected to grow higher than projected 2.1 per cent growth by the CSO for the current fiscal, following better rabi crop prospects, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday.
Last week, Central Statistics Office
(CSO) had pegged farm and allied sector growth at 2.1 per cent for 2017-18, much lower than 4.9 per cent achieved in the 2016-17.
The farm sector growth
(gross value added) of crops at 60 per cent, livestock 20 per cent and forestry 8.5 per cent and fishing and aquaculture at 5.5 per cent.
The agriculture sector
can, therefore, be expected to register a much higher GVA
for the year 2017-18, when final estimate figures are released, it added.
Justifying the reasons for possible higher growth, the ministry said it is of the opinion that the lower coverage of area by August 2017 on account of delayed onset of monsoons has caused a poor reflection compared to the actual positive field situation by December 2017.
However, good rainfall
thereafter helped increase in area coverage in accordance with the with kharif
"Despite delay in onset of monsoons and relatively poorer rainfall
vis-a-vis the previous year, the area coverage under kharif
finally rose to 106.55 million hectares against the five year average of 105.86 million hectares," it said.
It is, hence logical, that the computation based on area coverage under crops as in August 2017 had a negative impact on the CSO's advance estimate for the overall agriculture sector.
estimate is bound to get corrected upwards, if increased area coverage by December 2017 and concomitant production estimate in case of foodgrains, oilseeds and commercial crops, in particular, are taken into account, it said.
These three account for higher percentage of share than horticulture in the GVA
computation and horticulture is showing a higher productivity estimate, it added.
The ministry further said the livestock and fishery sector was very positive till August 2017 and by December the dominant crop sector has "bounced back".
"If this amended and actual field situation are taken into account in computation of the GVA
for agriculture sector
as a whole, its growth rate can be estimated to be much higher than the advance estimate of 2.1 per cent," ministry said.
Stating that the rabi
prospects are good, the ministry said rabi
crops have been covered in an area of 58.6 million hectares which is a "very good progress".
Considering that the rabi
sowing continues up to first week of February, the total area under crops and resultant production will be very good, it added.
The ministry also observed that CSO
estimates of farm sector growth
this fiscal comes on the back of a very robust GVA
of 4.9 per cent in the previous year.
"Considering that crop segment constitutes a dominant component of the GVA
computation, its performance is very critical. However, with in elasticity of land where there exists little scope for increase in the average coverage, productivity enhancement assumes importance," it said.
Crops in particular and agriculture in general are highly dependent on monsoons and overall status of weather, the ministry said, adding that even small variations in weather tend to influence agriculture adversely, as seen for example, in the area coverage by August 2017.