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Bullish Agri Ministry expects higher GVA growth in 2017-18

Bullish Agri Ministry expects higher GVA growth in 2017-18

Sun Jan 07 2018


The Agriculture Ministry is hopeful of the overall agriculture sector posting a “much higher” gross value added (GVA) growth for 2017-18 than the 2.1 per cent growth estimate put out by the CSO’s advance estimates on Friday.


The optimism of achieving a higher than estimated growth rate of 2.1 per cent stems from the fact that Rabi 2017 is showing a “very good performance” in addition to good Kharif 2017, official sources said.


“By January 5, 2018, the area coverage under Rabi is 58.6 million hectares, which is a very good progress. Considering that the Rabi sowing continues up to the first week of February, the total area under crops and resultant production will be very good,” sources said.


In totality, the crop segment in 2017-18 is expected to compare more favourably than the five-year average of area coverage.


The crop sector — which includes both agriculture and horticulture — accounts for 60 per cent weightage in the economic activity for the overall ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’ sector.


The Advance Estimate released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is based on the data on crop coverage as of end August 2017, which was below that of the previous year on account of delay in onset of monsoon in some parts of the country.


However, good rainfall thereafter helped the Ministry in increasing the area coverage in accordance with Kharif targets.


Despite delay in onset of monsoons and relatively poorer rainfall vis-à-vis the previous year, the area coverage under Kharif finally rose to 106.55 million hectares as against the five-year average of 105.86 million hectares.


It is only logical to conclude that a computation based on area coverage under crops as in August 2017 had a negative impact on the 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”, official sources said.


If the actual positive field situation as of December 2017 are taken into account in computation of GVA for agriculture sector as a whole, its growth rate can be estimated to be much higher than the Advance Estimate of 2.1 per cent, they added..



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