12/08/04, INDIA (Oilmandi) - Indian crop output especially oilseed outputis likely to fall by 7.6 per cent to 23.1 million tonnes in the currentcrop year following poor rains in growing belts, CMIE said on Wednesday.This is going to force India, the largest consumer of oilseeds to importmore oilseeds this year. India imported oilseeds worth $2.5bn last year.
Groundnut production is forecast to drop by 18 per cent to 7 milliontonnes in 2004/05 from the previous year, while output of soybeans is seendeclining by 8.5 per cent to 7 million tonnes (CMIE) said in a report.
"The southwest monsoon was severely deficient for five consecutive weeksbeginning the last week of June," the report said, adding that erraticprogress of the monsoon had adversely affected sowing of winter crops inthe country.
Monsoon rains were 13 per cent below normal in the first half of thefour-month season ending in September, though they have now picked up.Most parts of the country are now getting good rains. Traders said poorrains in the crucial month of July had already done some damage to wintercrops.
Groundnuts, soybeans, rice and cotton are major winter crops, sown in Juneand July and harvested in October and November. The summer-seasonplantings for crops such as wheat and mustard begin just after that andharvesting takes place in February and March.
Food grains output has been forecast at 208.8 million tonnes in 2004/05,marginally down from 210.8 million tonnes in the previous year, the CMIEreport said.
The country's rice production is estimated to fall to 84 million tonnesfrom 86.4 million tonnes a year earlier, it said. But cotton production isexpected to marginally rise to 13.5 million bales (of 170 kg each) in2004/05 from 13.47 million bales in the previous year.
The report, however, said the agriculture sector was projected to grow by0.8 per cent in the current year from the previous year despite the outputdrop, as the non-crops sector was expected to rise by about 5 per centduring the year.
Agricultural crops account for about two-thirds of the farm sector andmost of the rest is contributed by livestock, forestry and fishing, itadded.