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Despite Monsoon Worries, Foodgrains Mark Set 3% Higher

The annual retail inflation rate (INCPIY=ECI) for April was 4.83%, down from 4.85% for March.

On Wednesday, the government of India set a slightly higher target of 332 million tonnes (MT) of foodgrain manufacture for the 2023-24 crop year, i.e., July to June, against the projected output of 323.5 MT in the current crop year.

The vision was set at the national conference on agriculture- kharif campaign-2023 initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture despite the deficient monsoon possibility amid El Nino conditions developing at the end part of the monsoon months, i.e., June to September.

According to an official statement, the conference aimed to evaluate and measure the crop performance during the earlier seasons and fix crop-wise goals for the upcoming Kharif season in discussion with state governments, ensuring the supply of critical inputs like fertiliser and pesticides.

In the upcoming crop year of 2023-24, the target for pulses production, including Chana, Arhar and Moong, is fixed at 29.2 MT compared to 27.8 MT in the current crop year. The oilseeds counting soybean, groundnut, and mustard manufacture, will likely be augmented from 44 MT in 2023 to 24 from 40 MT in the current crop year.

The government focuses in the upcoming kharif season on increasing area through inter-cropping, crop diversification and productivity improvement through introducing high-yielding varieties and espousing suitable agronomic performances in low-yielding areas.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar asked states to encourage technology in the farming sector to cut input costs, increase production and augment farmers’ income. Technological use can help make farming more profitable by tumbling input costs and increasing production to fulfil foreign countries’ expectations for the supply of agricultural items.

Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja mentioned that the India Meteorological Department has forecast ‘normal’ monsoon rains from June to September with the prospect of El Nino conditions developing in seasons’ later parts.

El Nino results in the warming of the waters in the Pacific Ocean, usually allied with the monsoon weakening in the country.

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