Cotton and sugarcane output to fall in 2012-13: CMIE

MUMBAI, June 17: Although foodgrain production is expected to grow in 2012-13, the cotton and sugarcane output is projected to fall, economic think tank CMIE has said.
“In 2012-13, production of foodgrains is projected to grow by 0.6 percent to 247.6 million tonnes. Higher output of rice and wheat, alongwith a recovery in production of coarse cereals and pulses, is expected to boost overall production,” Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said in its monthly report here.
The acreage of cotton and sugarcane is expected to decline and limit production of non-food crops to levels lower than last year.
According to the tentative sowing report, acreage of sugarcane has scaled up by over two percent to 48.6 lakh hectares as of May 8. Though sugarcane cultivation higher, it expects it to slow down in the subsequent period, CMIE said.
CMIE expects sugarcane production to fall by 0.9 per cent to 342.5 million tonnes in FY’13, mainly due to a fall in the acreage.
In FY 12, a sharp increase in cotton acreage had resulted in record production of 35 million bales. However, this excess production was not matched with similar demand during the corresponding marketing season. As a result, cotton prices plunged, causing losses.
CMIE expects these losses to motivate cotton growers to turn to alternative crops in the current season. Cotton production is projected to decline by 7.8 per cent to 32.2 million bales in FY 13.
Major oilseeds production is projected to recover by three per cent in FY 13, after being hit in the preceding year. Kharif sowings have started, but on a sluggish note for sesame and sunflower seeds.
The groundnut production is projected to recover in FY 13, following a steep decline in the preceding year. Groundnut cultivators turned to alternative crops in anticipation of higher returns in FY 12. Consequently, production fell by an estimated 17 percent to 6.9 million tonnes. However, a demand-supply mismatch has led to a steep increase of over 20 per cent in groundnut prices during January-May 2012.
“We expect these conditions to motivate cultivators to increase sowing of groundnuts. Groundnut production is projected to scale up by over 16 per cent to eight million tonnes in FY 13,” CMIE report said.
Though major crop production is projected to fall by 0.6 per cent, the overall agriculture sector is expected to grow by 2.4 per cent in FY’13. An anticipated growth in output of livestock, forestry and fisheries, alongwith a modest four per cent rise in production of minor crops is expected to lift growth of the agriculture sector, it said. (PTI)