Production of horticultural crops for the year 2016-17 (July-June) is pegged at a record 300 million tonnes (mt), with fruits and vegetables witnessing a significant increase in output due to abundant rains and rise in area. According to the third advance estimates of horticultural production, released by the government on Thursday, the area under cultivation went up by 2.6 per cent to 25.1 million hectares (ha) from 24.5 million ha in 2015-16.
All major staple vegetables -- onion, potato and tomato – have registered an increase in output. While onion output in 2016-17 is projected at 21.72mt, 3.8 per cent up over previous year’s 20.93mt, tomato production is estimated at a record 19.54 mt, up 4.3 per cent over 18.73 mt. At 48.2 mt, potato production, too, is estimated to be substantially higher than previous year’s 43.42 mt.
The total production of horticultural crops in 2016-17, including fruits, vegetables, flowers, plantation crops and spices, is estimated to be a record 299.85 mt, 4.6 per cent higher than the previous year’s 286.18mt. There is a slight increase of 0.7 per cent in the projected output, compared to 295 mt recorded in the second advance estimates released in May this year. Fruit production is expected to go up to 93.7 mt from 90mt in 2015-16, while vegetable output is projected to be at a record 176 mt, compared to 169 mt last year.
All major fruit crops – barring apple – registered a significant increase in production. The highest growth in terms of percentage is registered by spices, whose production is projected to grow by 15 per cent to 8.2 mt against 7 mt in 2015-16. There is also a spurt in plantation crop output, thanks to an increase in coconut production, which is expected to go up to 16.84 mt compared to last year’s 15.2.6 mt. Production of chillies (dried) has jumped to 2.126 mt against 1.520 mt in the previous year. Similarly coriander and turmeric output has seen a major jump during 2016-17. However, the production of cumin has dropped marginally, while other spices such as cardamom and pepper have also seen a rise. The plantation crop production is projected to be at 18.35 mt. The production of flowers is projected to be 2.28 mt, whereas honey production is expected to top 95,000 tonnes, according to the latest estimates.
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