Karnataka’s food grain production set to fall 2.3% in FY15

Karnataka’s food grain production is set to witness marginal dip by 2.3 per cent to 13 million tonnes for the 2014-15 as against 13.31 million tonnes in the previous year. The shortfall in production is mainly due to deficit rainfall and dry spell during second fortnight of June, first week of July, August and September in major parts of North and South Interior districts last year. This affected rain fed crops in an area of 1.82 million hectares.

Major crops affected were red gram, soyabean, maize, green gram, groundnut, ragi, bajra, sunflower, cotton and sugarcane. Cumulative rainfall from June 1 to September 30, 2014 was 833.37 mm as against a normal rainfall of 838.70 mm, a drop of 1 per cent, according to Economic Survey of Karnataka 2014-15.

As a result of decline in the production of food grains, the rate of growth of agriculture for FY15 is estimated at 4.5 per cent as against a growth of 9.4 per cent during 2013-14. 

Primary estimates based on the progress in area coverage under various kharif and Rabi crops, likely loss in yield on account of dry spell / excess rainfall in some parts indicate production of 11.47 million tonnes cereals and 1.52 million tonnes of pulses against the target of 11.91 million tonnes and 1.58 million tonnes respectively.

Rainfall during June was deficit by 41 per cent. During July, rainfall was normal. Southwest monsoon turned to be active over Interior Karnataka during August 19 to 31. All the northern districts such as Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Ballari, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Bagalkote, Dharwad, Gadag and Haveri received excess rainfall. Crops in an area of about 156,000 hectares were affected by excess rainfall.

Rainfall during August was higher by 41 per cent against the normal. During September rainfall was deficit in major parts of North Interior Karnataka (except Haveri district), Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts of South Interior Karnataka. 

During kharif season, area coverage under cereals, pulses and sugarcane was near normal, while significant decline was observed in oilseeds. But, area coverage under cotton and soyabean was all time high due to crop diversification in northern districts. Area coverage under Rabi was crops was less on account of poor rains in northeast monsoon period in majority of the districts. A satisfactory storage of water in majority of the irrigation reservoirs is expected to give scope for normal summer production programme, the Economic Survey said.

Oilseeds production is anticipated to be 1.16 million tonnes against the target of 1.48 million tonnes. Production of cotton is likely to be 2.05 million bales against the target of 1.31 million bales on account of higher area coverage.

“The shortfall in production of pulses and oilseeds can be attributed to crop diversification, decline in area coverage and stunted growth of rainfed crops in major parts of south and north Interior Karnataka.

According to the revised advanced estimates of agriculture department, sugarcane production for 2014-15 is projected at 39.71 million tonnes as against 37.90 million tonnes in the previous year, a year on year growth of 4.8 per cent. Tobacco production for the year is projected to grow by 22.2 per cent to 110,000 tonnes as against 90,000 tonnes in 2013-14.