Agri growth likely to be higher than 2.1%: Ministry
The country’s agriculture sector is expected to grow higher than projected 2.1 per cent growth by the CSO for the current fiscal, following better rabi crop prospects, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday.Last week, Central Statistics Office (CSO) had pegged farm and allied sector growth at 2.1 per cent for 2017-18, much lower than 4.9 per cent achieved in the 201617.
The farm sector growth comprises GVA (gross value added) of crops at 60 per cent, livestock 20 per cent and forestry 8.5 per cent and fishing and aquaculture at 5.5 per cent.The agriculture sector can, therefore, be expected to register a much higher GVA for the year 2017-18, when final estimate figures are released, it added.
Justifying the reasons for possible higher growth, the ministry said it is of the opinion that the lower coverage of area by August 2017 on account of delayed onset of monsoons has caused a poor reflection compared to the actual positive field situation by December 2017.However, good rainfall thereafter helped increase in area coverage in accordance with the with kharif targets.
“Despite delay in onset of monsoons and relatively poorer rainfall vis-a-vis the previous year, the area coverage under kharif finally rose to 106.55 million hectares against the five year average of 105.86 million hectares,” it said.It is, hence logical, that the computation based on area coverage under crops as in August 2017 had a negative impact on the CSO’s advance estimate for the overall agriculture sector.
The GVA estimate is bound to get corrected upwards, if increased area coverage by December 2017 and concomitant production estimate in case of foodgrains, oilseeds and commercial crops, in particular, are taken into account, it said.
The Business Standard, New Delhi, 8th January 2018