The government on Monday revised upward its foodgrain production estimates at 218.20 million tonnes in the 2009—10 crop year, even as it sees lower output of rice, wheat and pulses.

Although foodgrains production in the 2009—10 crop year (July—June) is anticipated to surpass the earlier estimate of 218.19 million tonnes, it is still lower than the output of 234.47 million tonnes achieved in 2008—09, it said in a statement.

The Agriculture Ministry, which forecasts foodgrains production at different stages of harvest, has lowered the production estimates for rice, wheat, pulses and oilseeds, but has augmented the projections for coarse cereals output in its fourth advance estimates of crop production for 2009—10.

As per the fourth estimates, rice production is likely to be around 89.13 million tonnes in 2009—10, lower than the earlier projection of 89.31 million tonnes and much lower than the record 99.18 million tonnes achieved in 2008—09.

The sharp fall in rice output was mainly due to the severe drought in 2009 that hit more than half the country.

Though wheat output is seen marginally down from the earlier estimate at 80.71 million tonnes, it is still higher than the previous year’s record output of 80.68 million tonnes.

Pulses production is also pegged at 14.59 million tonnes, lower than the earlier forecast of 14.77 million tonnes, but higher than the previous year’s 14.57 million tonnes.

Similarly, oilseeds production is likely to be 23.94 million tonnes less than the earlier projection of 25.41 million tonnes for 2009—10. This is also lower than the previous year’s actual production of 27.72 million tonnes.

In contrast, coarse cereals production is likely to have improved to 23.63 million tonnes in 2009—10 from the earlier estimate of 23.20 million tonnes. Nevertheless, coarse cereals output is still lower than the production of 28.54 million tonnes in 2008—09.

Sugarcane output is likely to have slightly improved to 277.75 million, lower than the previous year’s production of 285.03 million tonnes.

Among non—food crops, cotton production is seen to have risen to 24.93 million bales in 2009—10 from 22.28 million bales in 2008—09. One bale of cotton contains 170 kg.

Similarly, jute output is likely to have increased to 10.70 million bales (one bale of jute is equal to 180 kg) in 2009—10 from 9.63 million bales in the previous year.

Foodgrains are grown in both the Rabi (winter) and Kharif (summer) season in the country.

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