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Foodgrains production may fall short of target

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Foodgrains production in the State is likely to fall short of the target by about 18-lakh tonnes in 2013-14. The shortfall is being attributed to damage of standing crops due to cyclones in the coastal districts and because of excessive rains in other areas.

The shortfall is mainly contributed by drop in the production of paddy (rice) by 10.5-lakh tonnes and that of pulses by 5.02-lakh tonnes.

The production of cotton cultivated in over 24-lakh hectares, a record, oilseeds and sugarcane have also been estimated to be much below the targets set by the State Government.

According to Director of Economics and Statistics D. Dakshinamurthy, foodgrains production is likely to be 207.29-lakh tonnes against the target of 224.96-lakh tonnes, an 8 per cent dip in the expected output. Similarly, the production of pulses has been put below expectation at 12.74-lakh tonnes against 17.76-lakh tonnes.

The production of foodgrains has suffered due to low productivity (yield) caused by unfavourable weather conditions during the crucial stages of crops, though the extent of crops’ cultivation has matched or exceeded the targets fixed by the government. Paddy has been cultivated in 43.95-lakh hectares against the target of 44-lakh hectares but the yield is 3,115-kg per hectare against expectation of 3,350-kg.

However, cultivation of pulses has fallen short of target by over 5-lakh hectares as the sowings were badly hit badly with untimely and excessive rains. As a result, they were sown only in 16.42-lakh hectares against the target of 21.85-lakh hectares.

Excessive rains have also dashed the hopes of cotton farmers who were expecting bumper production this year. Against the estimated 78-lakh bales production, only 52.35-lakh bales production is being expected now.

In contrast, cultivation of oilseed suffered badly due to scanty rainfall in Anantapur district where groundnut is the major crop. Groundnut covers about 80 per cent of oilseed cultivation in the State. Against the target of 23.86-lakh hectares, oilseed were sown in 19.49-lakh hectares. Production has been affected in greater proportion due to low yields.

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