Agriculture secretary Shobhana K. Pattanayak said this year’s rain-fed Kharif production is almost equal to previous year record in spite of lack of rainfall. The agriculture ministry is expected to release the estimates of crop production in this month.

“We are expecting that production of foodgrains during the Kharif crop season will match last year’s output despite deficit rainfall in states like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra,” agriculture secretary Shobhana K. Pattanayak said on the sidelines of the national conference on the upcoming winter or rabi crop season.

According to Indian Meteorological Department, 234 of 630 districts had deficit rainfall and states like Rajasthan, Bihar, Gujarat, West Bengal and Assam witnessed floods and loss of life and crops. Planting of Kharif crop is 2% lower than the previous year in terms of area.

The agriculture ministry is expected to release the first advance estimates of crop production later this week. Pattanayak expressed confidence in the growth of agriculture sector in 2017-18 unless the vagaries in monsoon create havoc. Agriculture growth last year (2016-17) is estimated at 4.9% following a normal monsoon and a record harvest.


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