NATIONAL

Grains production likely to fall

NEW DELHI, MARCH 24. The National Conference on Agriculture for Kharif Campaign has estimated the foodgrains production for 2004-05 at 210.44 million tonnes, against 213.46 million tonnes last year. The shortfall is on account of lower kharif output due to drought conditions in parts of the country. But the production of pulses, rapeseed/mustard and cotton is likely to be the highest so far.

The kharif production is now estimated at 104.08 million tonnes, against 116.88 million tonnes. The rabi output is expected to be 106.36 million tonnes, compared to 96.58 million tonnes last year. This is the first time since 1950-51 that rabi production will exceed kharif, according to an official note. With still around three weeks for rabi wheat to be harvested in parts of North India, the initial output is estimated around 74.05 million tonnes, compared to 72.11 million tonnes last year. Rice output is likely to be 87.12 million tonnes, against 88.28 million tonnes last year.

The production of coarse cereals is likely to drop to 34.26 million tonnes, compared to 38.12 million tonnes last year. Pulses output is estimated at 15.01 million tonnes, which will be a record. It was 14.94 million tonnes last year.

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