The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Report sows hopes of a rich harvest

New Delhi, Sept. 30: India Inc may well rejoice. The verdict on farm growth for the year is out and it puts foodgrain output for the ripening kharif crop at a whopping 108.45 million tonnes or 20 per cent more than the last kharif crop.

Rice production alone is expected to reach 75.05 million tonnes, an increase of 8.54 million tonnes over last year’s kharif crop. The production of coarse cereals is estimated at 27.96 million tonnes, 7.83 million tonnes higher than last year while kharif pulses this year is expected to reach 5.44 million tonnes.

A drought last year had seen farm output dipping and GDP growth suffering. Analysts feel Indian industry could well recover on the back of better kharif yields.

“More farm surpluses means higher consumer and industrial demands in the Indian context and this in turn becomes the key growth driver,” a plan panel adviser said.

The farm estimates, dubbed “the first advance estimates of kharif production figures”, were released at the two-day national conference on agriculture for Rabi campaign 2003-04, which concluded today.

A spokesperson for the conference said among commercial crops, oilseeds production is estimated at 15.08 million tonnes, an increase of 63.6 per cent over last year; soya production is estimated at 7.10 million tonnes while groundnut production is estimated 5.93 million tonnes this year.

The foodgrain production estimates are based on feedback from different states.

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