The Centre on Friday revised its foodgrains production estimate upwards by 5.22 million tonnes for 2012-13 over earlier expectation on account of higher output of rice, wheat and coarse cereals.

The total foodgrains output is now estimated at 255.36 million tonnes with wheat production pegged at 93.62 million tonnes and rice at 104.22 million tonnes.

“We have every reason to be fairly satisfied,” Union Agriculture Secretary Ashish Bahuguna told The Hindu, adding that foodgrains output achieved for the year had exceeded the target of 254.24 million tonnes that was set.

However, despite a better showing in the third advance estimates released officially here on Friday, the total foodgrains production will be lower by 3.96 million tonnes than the previous year’s (2011-12) record production of 259.24 million tonnes. Wheat output then was 94.98 million tonnes and rice was 105.31 million tonnes.

Late rains provide relief

Drought in parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan due to delayed and inadequate monsoon had hit production of coarse cereals and pulses during kharif season but the late rains redeemed the situation.

However, some hail and untimely rain towards the final stages of the rabi season that followed, affected the wheat output in parts of Punjab and Haryana, sources said.

As per the 3 Advance Estimates, the total rice production (including kharif and rabi) for the 2012-13 crop year from July to June, has been revised upwards to 104.22 million tonnes from 101.8 million tonnes in the second advance estimates. The thrust on rice cultivation in the eastern region has helped enhance production, the sources said.

Wheat output is estimated at 93.62 million tonnes as against 92.3 million tonnes in the second advance estimates. ``The first estimates are based on visual estimates. The second and particularly the third estimates are based on crop cutting experiments,’’ the sources told The Hindu.

Output of coarse cereals is expected to be 39.52 million tonnes as against 38.47 million tonnes in the earlier estimate.

In the previous year, however, the coarse cereals production was higher at 42.04 million tonnes.

There has been a slight improvement in the output of pulses from 17.58 million tonnes in the second estimates to 18.00 million tonnes in the third advance estimates, which is higher than output of 17.09 million tonnes achieved in the previous year. But for gram and moong the output of all pulses has improved.

The overall production of oilseeds is expected to be higher at 30.72 million tonnes than the earlier estimate as well as the output in the previous year. The output of groundnut, however, which was hit by kharif drought in Gujarat and Karnataka, is likely to be lower by 1.53 million tonnes. This is said to have been made up by higher output of soyabean.

While the cotton output is expected to be the same as in the earlier estimate, there is likely to be a drop in the jute and mesta output.

Sugarcane production at 336.1 million tonnes is higher than second estimates but is much lower than the previous best of 361.03 million tonnes in 2011-12 due to the kharif drought in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Not much change is expected in the foodgrains output in the final advance estimates that will be released in July, the sources said.

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