Officials estimate the output at 95.01 lakh tonnes against last year’s 90.59 lakh tonnes
The production of foodgrain in Telangana is expected to be the highest since the formation of the State this agriculture year (2017-18) as it is estimated to be about 95.01 lakh tonnes, about five lakh tonnes more than the output achieved last year.
Growth in the production is being attributed mainly to increase in the extent of cultivation and yield of major food crops – cereals and pulses – helped by favourable weather conditions and improved availability of inputs such as seed and fertilizers. According to officials, the production of foodgrain during 2013-14 in Telangana, a year before the formation of the State, was highest at 107.49 lakh tonnes.
However, unfavourable weather conditions such as long dry spells during the key stages of crop growth and drought conditions affected the foodgrain production during the first two years of Telangana’s birth.
“The measures taken up for restoration of minor irrigation tanks starting from 2015 have started showing results from last year (2016-17). Improved yield and the increased extent of irrigation have also helped the production of foodgrain,” Agriculture Production Commissioner C. Parthasarathi explained.
The second advanced estimates of crop production released by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics recently have indicated that the extent of paddy cultivation could go up by over two lakh hectares this year compared to the last year, taking the expected output of the cereal to about 65.6 lakh tonnes, over two-thirds of the total foodgrain production for 2017-18. Last year, the production of paddy was estimated at about 55.6 lakh tonnes of the total foodgrain output of 90.59 lakh tonnes.
Similarly, the production of pulses has also been estimated to go up to 5.13 lakh tonnes this year against 5.05 lakh tonnes the last year, in spite of the extent of cultivation going down by over 1.6 lakh ha—to 5.34 lakh ha from 6.94 lakh ha last year. The growth in pulses production is being attributed to increased yield in major pulses such as redgram, greengram, blackgram and bengalgram.
Among other crops, the production of oilseed has been estimated to go down to 5.77 lakh tonnes from 6.82 lakh tonnes last year as their cultivation has witnessed slump to 3.63 lakh ha this year from 5.19 lakh ha last year. The production of sugarcane has also registered decrease from 25.7 lakh tonnes last year to to 22.17 lakh tonnes although its area of cultivation has improved slightly to 0.35 lakh ha from 0.31 lakh ha last year.
Cotton, a major cash crop in the State which has been cultivated in the highest-ever extent of 19.03 lakh ha this year, is estimated to achieve record production of 43.32 lakh bales against 29.3 lakh bales from 14.1 lakh ha last year.