Foodgrain production hits record 330.5 MT in 2022-23

India’s foodgrain production has risen by 5% on year to a new record of 330.5 million tonne (MT) for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June), according to the third advance estimate released by the agriculture ministry on Thursday.

The country’s wheat production is expected to touch a new record of 112.74 MT in the year, which could help cool inflation which was 15.46% in April 2023.

Wheat inflation rose to a record 25.37% in February 2023 because of 4.6% drop in output to 107.77 MT in 2021-22 crop year. The rice production is expected to touch a new record of 135.5.74 MT in the 2022-23 crop year, an increase of 4.7% compared to previous year.

Retail inflation in rice was 11.37% in April 2023. Experts say that with adequate procurement by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) so far, prices are expected to soften in coming months.

The FCI has so far procured more than 50 MT in the 2022-23 season (October-September) under the Minimum Support Price (MSP) operations. Currently the corporation has close to 27 MT of rice stocks which excludes 15.5 MT rice yet to be received from the millers.

In the second advance estimate released in February, the foodgrain production was seen at 323.55 MT.
Pulses production of the current crop year is estimated at a record 27.5 MT, which is marginally higher from the previous year. The production of chana (gram), which has a share of more than 50% in the pulses output, has been estimated at the same level as last year at 13.5 MT in the current crop year.

India imports about 15% of its annual consumption of pulses.

Coarse cereals output has declined by 6% to 51.1 MT in the current crop year from 54.7 MT reported in the 2021-22.

According to the third advance estimate for other crops such as oilseeds, sugarcane and cotton, the production is estimated to reach a record level.

Total oilseeds production during 2022-23 is estimated at a record 40.99 MT, which is higher by 3 MT than the production of 37.96 MT reported in 2021-22. India imports about 55% of its annual edible oil consumption.

Total production of sugarcane in 2022-23` is estimated at 49.4 MT, which is higher than the production estimate of 43.94 MT for the previous year.

The cotton output rose by 10% to 31.54 million bales (each of 170 kg) this year than the previous year’s production.

The government releases total four estimates annually at different stages of crop growth and harvesting.

Meanwhile, the water levels in major reservoirs are 5% below the previous year’s level while the stored water is 23% above the 10-year average, according to data by the Central Water Commission (CWC) on Thursday.

According to the CWC data, water level of the country’s 143 reservoirs stood at 54.57 billion cubic metres (bcm) at present, which is 31% of their combined capacity.

The India Meteorological Department will release the second long range forecast for the monsoon (June-September) for the current year on Friday.

Monsoon rainfall for crops grown in over a half of the net cultivated area. Key kharif crops like paddy, tur and soyabean are significantly rain-fed even now.

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