The State is expecting a bumper harvest of foodgrains this year notwithstanding the delayed monsoon and inadequate supply of seeds and fertilisers.
The Agriculture Department has projected a foodgrain production of 76.79 lakh tonnes after first round of advance estimates. While rice production has been put at 63.88 lakh tonnes, the anticipated output of coarse cereals will be to the tune of 8.60 lakh tonnes.
The State registered a record foodgrain production of 92 lakh tonnes in 2007-08 kharif and rabi. The production surpassed the demand by 6.46 lakh tonne after five years. The State had a surplus foodgrain production of 4.56 lakh tonnes in 2001.
Being the principal kharif crop in the state, rice is grown on 40 lakh hectares while coarse cereals are cultivated on more than 4.66 lakh hectares.
According to the Directorate of Agriculture and Food Production, the anticipated production of rice after the preliminary estimate is 63.88 lakh tonnes with a yield of 1,597 kg per hectare. The expected production of maize and ragi is 6.74 lakh tonnes and 1.71 lakh tonnes respectively during this kharif. The other coarse cereals produced in the state include jowar, bajra and millets.
The foodgrains production figure is likely to change by more than 20 per cent after the final estimate, said a senior officer of the directorate.
The department is also expecting good harvest of pulses due to late receding of monsoon. The preliminary estimate put the production of ‘arhar’ at 1.31 lakh tonne, 1.40 lakh tonnes of ‘biri’, 1.09 lakh tonnes of ‘muga’ and nearly 50,000 tonnes of other pulses, including cow pea.
The department has estimated a total oilseeds production of 2.55 lakh tonnes including 1.31 lakh tonnes of groundnut.
Agriculture Director S Gopalan told this paper that paddy crop condition in majority districts is excellent. Though a few pockets of Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts were facing moisture stress condition due to late arrival of monsoon, situation improved to a great extent at a later stage.
Though the monsoon set in a little late and behaved erratically in some areas, the overall rainfall in the State is more than normal. Foodgrains production could have been more had the Centre provided adequate fertilisers to the farmers, he said.