Agriculture growth may jump to 6 pc in FY17, says NITI Aayog

Agriculture growth could jump to 6 per cent in year 2016-17 from 1.2 per cent, at present, if monsoon turns out to be normal, NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand said today.

Due to poor monsoon the agriculture growth was negative in 2014-15 at 0.25 per cent and in 2015-16 and it is expected to be at 1.2 per cent, Chand added.

“In 2016-17, if monsoon turns out to be normal, one can expect 6 per cent growth in agriculture. And such a jump is possible as there is very low base due to poor monsoon in last two years,” Chand told reporters at the sidelines of an Assocham event.

India Meteorological Department is expected to release its monsoon forecast during last week of April.
The Niti Aayog member further said with the normal monsoon, the area under crop cultivation will increase and also the productivity.

“In past, there has been such stances where agriculture growth has jumped sharply. And this time the government has ensured procurement at minimum support prices to the farmers in the eastern India which will also help in higher growth,” Chand added.

Monsoon was 12 per cent below normal in 2014 and in 2015 it was 14 per cent below normal, resulting in lower agriculture production.

As per the final estimate of Agriculture Ministry, food grains production during crop year (July-June) 2014-15 fell to 252 million tonnes from 265 million tonnes in 2013-14.

While in 2015-16 crop year, the production is estimated at 253 million tonnes.

Chand also said Niti Aayog will also undertake a pilot project in about five villages in Bihar along with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on increasing the productivity of pulses.