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Indian horticultural crop output to reach record 305.4 million tonnes

Final estimates for 2016-17 showed that production of horticultural crops like vegetables and fruits was 300.6 million tonnes, a year-on-year rise of over 5%. Production of these crops is likely to touch a record 305.4 million tonnes in 2017-18, about 1.6% higher than the previous year and 8% higher than the previous five years’ average. This is according to the preliminary estimates of the Agriculture Ministry, released on Tuesday.

Within horticulture, production of vegetables is estimated at 181 million tonnes for 2017-18, about 1% higher than the year before, while that of fruits is estimated at 95 million tonnes, 2% higher than the previous year. Between 2015-16 and 2017-18, productivity of horticultural crops rose from 11.7 tonnes per hectare to an estimated 12.3 tonnes per hectare.

Production estimates for specific crops showed onions at 21.4 million tonnes, about 4.5% lower than the year before, and potatoes at 49.3 million tonnes, marginally higher than the 48.6 million tonnes in 2016-17. Production of tomatoes is estimated to rise 7.7% year-on-year in 2017-18 to 22.3 million tonnes, learned.

The record production during 2017-18 will mark the sixth straight year of horticulture production outstripping that of food grains (estimated at 276 million tonnes in 2016-17), suggesting a structural change in Indian agriculture where farmers are increasingly growing perishable commercial crops due to a growing market and a quicker cash flow as these crops require less time from sowing to marketing.

Publication date: 1/3/2018



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