India Hits Record Grain Harvest
February 28, 2012
By Dr. Bipul Saha
India is reaching records this year in many key agriculture areas, potentially giving rise to more intensification of food crops as the government moves to bolster its food security.
As previously reported in FCI, India has become the worlds largest producer of rice as a result of record production and the lifting of a three-year ban non-basmati rice exports. Rice exports are expected to reach 6 million tons in the 2011/12 growing year compared to 2.2 million tons the previous growing year. Thailand was the worlds top exporter last year, followed closely by Vietnam.
Indias total grain output is expected hit a record for the second year in a row. Agriculture Secretary P.K. Basu said grain output will reach its target of 245 million tons for the growing season ending in June 2012, almost 3.5 million tons more than the production record set in the 2010/11 growing year.
Additionally, favorably cool weather in wheat growing areas and heightened adoption of preventive fungicide applications to thwart yellow rust is expected to produce a bumper wheat crop. Planted area this year is up slightly to 29.4 million hectares versus 29 million hectares last year.
Additional production updates include:
- Chili production is expected to rise 10% to 15% compared to last year due to favorable rainfall and temperatures. However, prices for the crop are expected to decline as a result of lower demand domestically and abroad. This years relative oversupply could prompt farmers to opt for other crops next year
- A bumper onion harvest and an export ban, which has already expired, has led to price deflation for onion farmers.
- The value of spice exports were up 43% in the last three quarters of last year compared to the same period in 2010, driven largely by heightened demand and price stability for pepper and cardamom.
- Tea prices are likely to rise as a result of early onset of winter in northeast India, which lost 15 million kilograms of the crop. India exported about 990 million kilograms in 2011. Key African producers, including Kenya, are reporting lower harvests as well due to drought, which could contribute to higher tea prices.
- The Indian Council on Agriculture Research is planning to double the production of cashew nuts during the next five years. Powdery mildew disease is the biggest threat to cashew productivity.
Krinvanto Vishwam Aryam
(Make this World Noble)