Advance estimates show 10 per cent drop in India's kharif grain output

Confirming the fears of economic analysts, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar today said that India's grains production is projected to decline by 10 per cent in the kharif or summer crop season this year to 117.18 million tones, due to a deficient monsoon and drought in some states.

India's foodgrain output stood at 129.94 million tonnes (MT) during last year's kharif season. Erratic monsoon rains have impacted the sowing of key crops like rice, oilseeds and pulses.

However, the government expects to make up for the decline in output during the rabi (winter sown crop) season, the minister said optimistically.

Production of rice, a major kharif crop, is expected to fall to 85.59 million tonnes compared with 91.53 million tonnes in the last kharif season.

"As per the first advance estimate, total foodgrain production is expected at 117.18 million tonnes in the kharif season of 2012-13 crop year, lower than in the last year but higher than the average production of 113 million tonnes in the last five years," Pawar told reporters in New Delhi.

"Whatever shortfall we have seen in kharif season will be covered in rabi," the minister said.