India expects good spring harvest

September 24th, 2008 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) India is hopeful of reaping a good spring (Rabi) harvest of wheat, barley and jowar this season, a senior government official said here Wednesday.”There are favourable conditions. We hope for a better Rabi crop this season,” Agriculture Secretary T. Nanda Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

“We do not see any problem in meeting the target for the Rabi crop for 2008-09,” he added.

Kumar earlier told a national conference on agriculture for Rabi campaign that the states should make all possible efforts to maintain high spring crop output.

India is the world’s second biggest wheat grower and has set a target of growing 78.5 million tonnes wheat in the current season, as compared to 78.4 million tonnes in 2007-08.

Wheat, India’s major staple food grain, is sowed in October and harvested in March-April. It accounts for nearly 70 percent of the country’s winter-sown grain output.

The agriculture ministry has set a target of 1.5 million tonnes for barley as compared to 1.23 million tonnes in 2007-08. Jowar production is estimated at 3.9 million tonnes in 2008-09 against 3.44 million tonnes last year.

India’s food grain production was estimated at 230.67 million tonnes in 2007-08.

As per the fourth Advance Estimates of Crop Production for 2007-08, there is an absolute increase of 13.39 million tonnes in food production at 230.67 million tonnes, as compared to 217.28 million tonnes in 2006-07.

The production of rice stood at 96.43 million tonnes, wheat 78.4 million tonnes, coarse cereals 40.73 million tonnes, maize 19.31 million tonnes, pulses 15.11 million tonnes, and oilseeds 28.82 million tonnes.

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