1. Agriculture World

Record Foodgrain Production Likely in 2022 despite Farmer Protests

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi

Despite record foodgrain production this year, the withdrawal of three agri-reform law & pandemic and cast a cloud over the country's resilient agriculture sector, it is on track for a better harvest in 2022 despite pandemic blues.

While soaring foodgrain production helped the government provide free additional rations to Covid- affected poor families for many months came as a relief, the year will be remembered for the long-drawn farmers' protest at Delhi borders against the three laws and subsequent repeal of the legislation.

Higher Foodgrain Production:

The Indian agriculture sector, which was one of the few that remained robust despite the pandemic, is expected to grow at a 3.5% annual rate in the current fiscal year ending March 2022 Foodgrain production reached an all-time high of 308.65 million tonnes in 2020-21 crop year, which ended in June. In the current crop year, production could reach 310 million tonnes.

For the benefit of farmers, the government purchased massive amounts of wheat, rice, pulses, cotton, and oilseeds at the Minimum Support Price (MSP). During 2020-21, paddy and wheat procurement reached new highs of 894.18 lakh tonnes and 433.44 lakh tonnes, respectively.

According to official data, pulse procurement totaled 21.91 lakh tonnes, coarse grains 11.87 lakh tonnes, and oilseeds 11 lakh tonnes. As production and procurement continued smoothly, the farmers' agitation, which began in November 2020, was finally put to rest this month when Parliament passed a bill repealing the three contentious farm laws on the first day of the Winter Session on November 29

Farm Laws Repeal: A Setback to Agricultural Reform Implementation

The Supreme Court had already stayed the implementation of these laws in January. Farmers' unions are declaring victory after forcing the Centre to concede to their demands. In contrast, economists and government officials see it as a setback in implementing agricultural marketing system reforms.

"We were expecting one-fifth of the country's farmers to benefit from the implementation of the three farm reforms. We completely lost that opportunity. However, I feel the setback is only temporary," said Ramesh Chand, Niti Aayog Member.

Agriculture Commissioner S K Malhotra predicted that foodgrain production in the country could reach 310 million tonnes in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June). Good monsoon rains, the adoption of new technologies, and the successful implementation of government schemes such as PM-KISAN have all contributed to the increase in output.

According to Malhotra, Crop productivity has been increasing as farmers adopt better seed varieties that produce higher yields and have a high nutritional value, in addition to being resistant to diseases and adverse climatic conditions. The official also stated that the unseasonal rains had a negative impact on perishable and horticultural produce in some parts of the country. As a result, some commodities, such as tomatoes, saw their prices fall.

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