This monsoon has been a rather dry one for the farm lands in the country. However, this has not been much of a hurdle, with the government making a record of 285.2 million tonne worth of food grain production in the 2018-19 crop year. 

India harvested a record 284.83 MT of food grain in the 2017-18 crop year (July-June). The target for 2018-19 crop year was set at a conference called today for preparing strategies for Rabi (winter-sown) crop.

"Despite patchy monsoon rains, we are expecting higher production in Kharif season," Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said at the conference here. Harvesting of Kharif (summer-sown) crops will begin from end of this month and sowing of Rabi crops will start thereafter.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), rain deficit in the current monsoon season beginning June is 9 per cent below the normal. According to a senior agriculture ministry official, the target for rice has been set at 113 MT in 2018-19 crop year as against record 112.91 MT last year.

Wheat output target has been set at 100 MT from record 99.7 MT in 2017-18. The Centre has set a target of 46.7 MT of coarse cereals production as against 46.99 MT last crop year.

Pulses production target has been kept at 25 MT from an all-time high output of 25.23 MT in 2017-18. Among non-food grain crops, the target of oil seeds has been fixed at 36 MT from 31.31 MT in the 2017-18 crop year.

Cotton production target has been fixed at 35.5 million bales (170 kg each) while that of sugarcane at 355 MT. In the last crop year, cotton production stood at 34.89 million bales (of 170 kg each) and sugarcane at 376.91 MT.

At the conference, Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak said the government has set a target of doubling farmers' income by 2022. He highlighted the steps taken by the government in the last four years to achieve this target.

Talking about the new procurement policy announced by the government last week, the secretary said states and private players have an important role to play in the new scheme while the FCI and cooperative NAFED would continue to procure food grain.

Ahead of the 2019 polls, the government last week announced a Rs 15,053-crore procurement policy allowing states to choose a compensation scheme and rope in private agencies for procurement to ensure a profitable price to farmers.