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Discuss the current status of food grain production in India and associated challenges.

Topic: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints

4. Discuss the current status of food grain production in India and associated challenges. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The Agriculture Ministry’s second advance estimates were released recently, consequently forcing us to probe the current status of food grain production in India and associated challenges.

Key demand of the question:

The question is pretty much direct and aims to assess the current status of food grain production in India and challenges associated with it.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with the key highlights of the estimate.

Body:

Note the following facts and use them to provide for a brief analysis of the current scenario –

  • Total food grain production is projected to scale an all-time high of almost 292 million tonnes in 2019-20, propelled by record production of both rice and wheat.
  • Production of several crops, including rice and major pulses, was lower than targeted in the kharif or the monsoon season. However, the abundance of late monsoon rains resulted in cumulative rainfall that was 10% higher than the long-period average for the season. This helped farmers rake in rabi or winter harvests that were larger-than expected in almost all crops.
  • Thus, the estimate for total food grain output of 291.95 million tonnes is more than six million tonnes higher than the 285.21 million tonnes produced in 2018-19.
  • The Agriculture Ministry expects rice production to reach 117.47 million tonnes, slightly higher than the 116.48 million tonnes produced in 2019. Wheat, which is only grown in the rabi season, will see a major surge in production at 106.2 million tonnes in the current year, from the 103.6 million tonnes in 2018-19.

Discuss the challenges involved – Despite the government’s drive to encourage millets and nutri-cereals, production failed to match targets this year.

Explain the story with Pulses, oil seeds, the sudden peak in sugarcane production etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done for effective and efficient management of food grains in the country.