India's agriculture growth could jump to 6 per cent in 2016-17 from 1.2 per cent in the just-concluded financial year, if monsoon turns out to be normal, NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand said today.
Agriculture growth turned negative in 2014-15 to (-) 0.25 per cent due to poor monsoon while in 2015-16 it is was expected to be at 1.2 per4 cent, Chand said.
The weather bureau is expected to release its monsoon forecast during last week of April.
"In 2016-17, if monsoon turns out to be normal, one can expect 6 per cent growth in agriculture. And such a jump is possible as there is very low base due to poor monsoon in last two years," Chand told reporters on the sidelines of an Assocham event.
The Niti Aayog member said that even with normal monsoon, the area under cultivation will increase and also the productivity.
"In the past, there has been such stances where agriculture growth has jumped sharply. And this time the government has ensured procurement at minimum support prices to the farmers in the eastern India which will also help in higher growth," Chand added.
India experienced a 12 per cent drop in monsoon rains in 2014 and a 14 per fall in rains in 2015, resulting in lower agriculture production. Foodgrain production in the country fell to 252 million tonnes during crop year (July-June) 2014-15 from 265 million tonnes in 2013-14, as per the latest estimates of the agriculture ministry. While in 2015-16 crop year, the production is estimated at 253 million tonnes.
Chand also said that Niti Aayog will also undertake a pilot project in about five villages in Bihar along with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on increasing the productivity of pulses.