Government Estimates Signal Record Foodgrain Production Of 272 Million Tonnes In 2016-17A farmer sorts through their wheat crop in a village on the outskirts of Beawar, about 184km southwest of Jaipur, Rajasthan. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

A good monsoon last year after a series of bad ones, has led to a rise in foodgrain production this year. Advance estimates shared by the agriculture ministry yesterday (15 February) show that foodgrain harvest in the country this year is expected to be record-breaking. The growth in production suggests that the scrapping of high-value currency notes has not had an adverse effect on the agriculture sector.

Going by the ministry’s figures, over 272 million tonnes of foodgrains will be harvested in 2016-17. This is 8 per cent more than the 251.6 million tonnes harvested in 2015-16. The harvest this year will also surpass the previous record of 265 million tonnes registered in 2013-14.

The production of rice, wheat and pulses is expected to set new records this year. Wheat production is expected to grow by 4.7 per cent to 96.6 million tonnes in 2016-17, from 92.3 million tonnes in 2015-16. Pulse production will mark a growth of 35 per cent, reaching 22.1 million tonnes in 2016-17, from 16.4 million tonnes last year. The production of rice will increase from 104.4 million tonnes last year to 106.7 million tonnes in 2016-17.

The ministry’s statement read:

As a result of very good rainfall during monsoon 2016 and various policy initiatives taken by the government, the country has witnessed record foodgrain production in the current year... The current year’s production is also higher by 14.97 million tonnes than the previous five-year average.

Sugarcane production is, however, expected to come down to 309 million tonnes in 2016-17, compared to 348 million tonnes the year before.

To incentivise farmers, the government has said that it will procure 33 million tonnes from farmers at support prices. This is significantly higher than the procurement of 23 million tonnes from the 2016 harvest.

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