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5% up Seen in Horticulture Crop Output

New Delhi: Government data shows, area and production under horticulture crops have increased over the previous year. According to the final advance estimates released by the agriculture ministry, for the 2016-17 crop year ending in June, horticulture production (of fruits, vegetables, spice, etc.) is estimated to touch 300.6 million tonnes, up 5% from the previous year.

Government data also shows, acreage under horticulture crops has increased by 1.5%. Output of horticulture crops is estimated to be 305.4 million tonnes, which is 1.6% higher than in the previous crop year and 8% higher than the average production of the last five years, according to the ministry's first advance estimate for 2017-18.

Former agriculture secretary, who is now fellow at Delhi-based Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, Siraj Hussain said, "Farmers are realising that they are now able to earn more by diversifying into horticulture from the traditional cereal crops they were into. Hence, we see the rise in acreage and production. It's now time that the government provides processing and storage facilities at farm gates to ensure farmers get remunerative prices."

According to the ministry's final estimates, production of fruits in 2016-17 is expected to touch 93 million tonnes, which is 3% higher than in 2015-16. Vegetable production in 2016-17 has been pegged at 178 million tonnes, up 5% from the previous year. Onion production in 2016-17 is seen up 7% from a year ago at 22.4 million tonnes.

Similarly, potato output is expected to be 12% higher at 48.6 million tonnes while that of tomatoes is likely to be higher by 10.5% at 20.7 million tonnes.

It expects production of fruits to be about 95 million tonnes, which is 2% higher than in the previous year, while vegetable production is estimated to be about 181 million tonnes-- about 1% higher than a year ago, said the ministry in its first advance estimate for 2017-18.

According to the ministry data, onion production in the 2017-18 is likely to touch 21.4 million tonnes, which is about 4.5% lower than in 2016-17. Output of potatoes is estimated at 49.3 million tonnes, which is about 7.7% higher than in the previous year.