DELHI: As better-than-normal rain helped farmers improve crop production, including rice, sugar cane and soybeans. Indian agriculture growth is likely to be the highest in three years.
Agriculture growth will exceed the 4% level achieved in 2019-20 in the year that began in April, said Atul Chaturvedi, president of India’s Solvent Extractors’ Association.
That would be the highest since 2017-18, when according to government data, the sector grew by 5.9%.
“The harvesting took place brilliantly with good rains and good monsoon, and consumption has also increased as far as the rural sector is concerned,” Chaturvedi, who is also the executive chairman of India’s top refiner Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd, said in a Tuesday interview with Bloomberg Television.
When the larger economy is not doing too well, “the only silver lining is probably agriculture.”
According to the Farm Ministry, India’s sugar cane production is seen growing to almost 400 million tonnes in 2020-21 from 355.7 million tonnes a year earlier.
It said that the production of monsoon-sown food grains, including rice, is expected to climb from 143.38 million tonnes in 2019-20 to a record 144.52 million tonnes.
India is possibly experiencing bumper crops and very good commodity prices’ for the first time, Chaturvedi said.
The soil moisture level has been improved by recent rains, which will support winter-sown crops. For example, wheat and rapeseed, he said.
India is the second-largest rice, wheat and sugar producer in the world.
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