As the government grapples with uncertain rains, any adverse impact on agriculture production could now be slightly better managed, as 2011-12 would yield higher farm output than the earlier estimates.
The fourth advance estimate released by the agriculture ministry on Tuesday pegged foodgrain production at 257.44 million tonnes in 2011-12, which is five million tonnes more than the last estimate and 5.2 per cent more than last year. It should be noted that the impact of uneven rainfall this year does not reflect on these output numbers, as the data pertains to the period before that.
The southwest monsoon this year till today was almost 22 per cent below normal across the country, with large parts of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat getting 20-50 per cent below normal rainfall.
Meanwhile, the data showed that production of wheat in 2011-2012 was at a record 94 million tonnes, almost four more million tonnes more than the last estimate and eight per cent more than 2010-2011. Rice production was estimated at 104.32 million tonnes, 0.9 per cent higher than previous estimate and almost 8.6 per cent more than last year.Output of coarse cereals was estimated at 421 million tonnes, slightly higher than 41.9 million tonnes in the previous estimate but marginally less than 43.68 million tonnes of last year.
Pulses production in 2011-2012 was pegged at 17.21 million tonnes, slightly higher than the 3rd estimate but 5.6 per cent less than last year.
Production of oilseeds was estimated at 30.01 million tonnes, slightly less than the previous estimate but 7.5 per cent lower than last year.
In cash crops, production of cotton was estimated at 35.20 million bales (1 bale=170 kilograms), same as the previous estimate and up 6.66 per cent from 33 million bales of last year.
Sugarcane production in 2011-2012 was estimated at 357.66 million tonnes, which is 1.84 per cent higher than the 3rd estimate and almost 4.4 per cent more than last year. Jute output was pegged at 11.56 million bales, up from last year's 10.62 million bales (1 bale =180 kg).
Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said the country has not reached drought situation but the government is ready with contingency plan to deal with deficient monsoon.