Area under food crop cultivation goes up

June 27th, 2008 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) Faced with a 14-year high inflation of 11.42 percent, India is set to grow kharif or summer food crops in more areas this season. As per the data compiled by the ministry of agriculture, the area under cultivation of India’s staple food crop - rice - has increased to over three million hectares from 2.84 million hectares in the past one year.

“The early trend of kharif sowing is encouraging. Major food grain crops have been grown in more area than the last corresponding period. Kharif pulses and oilseeds have also been sown in more area,” a statement from the agriculture ministry said Friday.

As per an official estimate, the demand for rice in India is projected at 128 million tonnes for 2012, and will require production of 3,000 kg per hectare against the present average yield of 1,930 kg.

The government has a rice production target of 129 million tonnes by 2011-12 with the growth rate of 3.7 percent, along with other food grain.

According to official estimates, India’s consumption of rice in 2006-07 was 88.25 million tonnes. As per the fourth advance estimates July 19, 2007, the production of rice was over 92 million tonnes.

In April 2008, rice production went up to 95.68 million tonnes. The official data shows agriculture including fishery and forestry grew at the rate of 4.5 percent in 2007-08 against 3.8 percent in 2006-07.

The government Friday said the area under coarse cereals cultivation increased by 1.1 million hectares to over 2.2 million hectares in the last one year.

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