India set for record foodgrain production, nearly 9% higher than last 5 years’ average – but millets increase is minor showing need to continue to promote

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Summary Extract: Among the major foodgrain crops, the total production of rice during 2020-21 is estimated at a record 120.32 MT, 7.88 MT higher than the last five years’ average production of 112.44 MT.

It’s a similar story for wheat, with the new estimate of 109.24 MT far exceeding the five-year average of 100.42 MT.

In terms of pulses too, the 2020-21 production estimate of 24.42 MT is 2.43 MT higher than the five-year average, and 1.40 MT more than last year’s figure.

However, this bumper production — especially in wheat and paddy, for which these are assured procurement at MSP — has led to mounting stockpiles, and given rise to a storage problem over the years.

Dr Arabinda K. Padhee, country director of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics: He pointed out that production of course cereals has not risen by much — it is estimated by the government to be 49.36 MT in 2020-21 compared to 47.75 MT the previous year. [The majority of this is maize at 30.16 MT maize. So, nutri-cereals (millets) output is only 19.20 MT in 2020-21 (18.98 in 2019-20)]. — and said diversification is needed hence promotion of millets should be taken up on “mission mode”, with focus on changing consumer behaviour.

“This will have multiple benefits, including climate resilience and corrections of micronutrient deficiencies,” he said.

Padhee added that the increase in rice and wheat output has a “serious message” for the policy space, and crop diversification must be incentivised where they are unsustainable.

For full story see original article from The Print:


Posted on

February 28, 2021

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