as measured in Gross Value Added (GVA) at constant prices was the highest in two years this July-September quarter, second (Q2) of four in this financial year.
The rate of rise was 3.3 per cent, on the back of a record kharif
harvest, aided by a good monsoon.
If production during the ongoing rabi
season matches the target and demonetisation doesn’t have a big impact on farmers, then, says P K Joshi, South Asia director at the International Food Policy Research Institute, we could have a growth rate exceeding four per cent in agriculture and allied activities during 2016-17.
The 3.3 per cent growth in GVA
compares to two per cent in the same period last year, and 1.8 per cent in this year’s April-June quarter.
Around 51 per cent of the GVA
in agriculture and allied activity is based on livestock products, forestry and fisheries, which had combined growth of 3.6 per cent in the quarter.
Joshi felt there was not likely to be any adverse impact of demonetisation on farm growth, as rabi
sowing is done in about a third of the arable land, where farmers are relatively wealthier.
Production of foodgrains in this year's kharif
rose by 8.9 per cent as compared to a decline of 3.2 per cent during the earlier one. In absolute numbers, the kharif
grain production in 2016 has been estimated at a record 135.03 million tonnes (mt), with bumper rice and pulses production. Pulses output in the kharif
si estimated at nine mt.
The southwest monsoon (June to September) was around 97 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA). Though lower than the weather office prediction, it was the first normal monsoon in the country since 2013. Rainfall from 96-104 per cent of the LPA
is considered normal. Around 85 per cent of the geographical area received normal or excess rain.
Of the 36 meteorological subdivisions, 23 constituting 72 per cent of the country's total area had normal rain and four had excess (13 per cent of the total area) during the season. Nine sub-divisions were deficient.
At end-September, the levels in 91 major reservoirs was 117 billion cubic metres or 74 per cent of their full capacity.