WE note with mixed optimism the latest food ministry cereal production figures based on data from the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). Food grain production may increase by more than 1 per cent to 3.55 crore tonnes at final count in fiscal 2013-14 compared with the preceding year's total output. But this overall growth has been mainly because of stepped up boro rice production.
Still , we will fall short of the production target set at 3.59 crore tonnes for the outgoing fiscal owing largely to what is being euphemistically dubbed as less than expected production of aus and aman.
But for the better boro yields,we would have had an uncomfortable deficit.The upswing in boro output was helped by two factors:The area of cultivation exceeded the target,reaching 4.8 million hectares ;and favourable weather conditions boosted both the acreage and yields.Steadier power supply to irrigate land and availability of other inputs facilitated boro farming.Boro's share being well over one-third of our total rice production ,It should continue to be incentivized .
The current year's cereal prices are said to be lower than those of earlier years.While from the consumer's point of view this may be welcome but we have to ensure that the prices at the grower's level ,beyond meeting the cost of production leave them a margin of profit to live on and feel encouraged in farming.