The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council(PMEAC) today projected 3 per cent growth for the farm sector in 2011-12 buoyed by record grains output,strong growth in horticulture and animal husbandry sectors.
Last year,the agriculture sector had grown by 7 per cent.
“The Council expects that in combination with the strong trend growth in horticulture and in the animal husbandry sectors,the overall farm sector GDP growth for 2011-12 will average 3 per cent,” the panel said in the ‘Review of Economy 2011-12’.
Farm sector growth in 2011-12 has been strong and in the first half,the average GDP growth rate for the agricultural sector was 3.7 per cent,it said.
Though the advance estimate places full year growth at 2.5 per cent for 2011-12,but “it is likely that this number will turn out eventually to be closer to 3 per cent,” it said.
Recently,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that the agriculture sector is likely to achieve about 3.5 per cent annual growth in the 11th Five-Year Plan,against 2.5 per cent in the previous plan period. He had also stressed on scaling it up to 4 per cent or more in the next Plan (2012-17).
Stating that the country’s foodgrains production is very favourable,the PMEAC said the second advance estimate shows a record food grain output of 250.4 million tonnes this year,more than the previous highest output of 244.8 million tonnes.
The foodgrains production of 128.4 million tonnes from summer-sown crops (kharif) is also the largest ever kharif harvest,while output from winter (rabi) crops now estimated at 122 million tonnes is slightly lower than 123.6 million tonne last year.
“However,it is likely that the final estimate (of rabi production) may be higher than last year’s,” the PMEAC said.
The Council said that rice production at 102.8 million tonnes and wheat at 88.3 million tonnes are also new records.
However,total output of pulses at 17.3 million tonnes is lower than last year’s 18.2 million tonnes. In a similar fashion,oilseed production is estimated to be lower at 30.5 million tonnes than last year. In the area of horticulture,the initial estimates suggest that there has been growth of over 5.5 per cent in horticultural products as a whole ¿ namely vegetables,fruit,spice,nuts,aromatic plants and plantation crops ¿ this year.
Milk and other animal husbandry products have shown good output,it added.