India is expected to see a new record of horticulture (fruits, vegetables, spices and plantation crops) production in 2017-18. The agriculture ministry on Tuesday released its first advance estimate for the year, putting the total production at 305.4 million tonnes – nearly 5 million tonnes more than the production in 2016-17.
The ministry’s final production figures for the year 2016-17 show that the overall horticulture production in the country outstripped the foodgrain production fifth year in a row, beginning the rising trend since 2012-13.
Higher production is mainly attributed to increase in productivity as sown area under the horticulture crops has increased only marginally over the years.
The total sown area had increased from 24.50 million hectares in 2015-16 to 24.85 million hectares in 2016-17 and further to 24.92 million hectares in current crop year (July-June). The productivity level, on the other hand, increased by 3.45 per cent in 2016-17 as compared to 2015-16.
The ministry has arrived at these figures on the basis on information received from different states and Union Territories (UTs).
Though the advance estimate of the overall horticulture production for 2017-18 is quite impressive, the figures carry a warning signal for onion as its production is expected to be lower by 4.5 per cent in current crop year as compared to 2016-17.
The projected dip in onion production (from 224 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 to 214 lakh tonnes in 2017-18) will help us prepare with contingency measures in case its price starts hurting consumers. Domestic demand can still be met by regulating export, said an official.
Source: Times of India