India is likely to produce record 263.2 million tonne foodgrains this year (includes kharif 2013 and rabi crops in the field at present). The earlier foodgrain production record of 259.3 MT was achieved in 2011-12.
As per the latest crop sowing data available, major crops have been sown in more area than in rabi last year. Wheat has been sown in 315.3 lakh hectare as compared to 298.2 lakh hectare in the last rabi; pulses in 161.9 lakh hectare as compared to 152.7 lakh hectare in the last rabi; and oilseeds in 90.1 lakh hectare as compared to 87.3 lakh hectare in the last rabi. This will translate into higher production this rabi.
India is now the top exporter of rice and second top exporter of wheat and cotton. Overall agricultural exports stood at Rs. 2,01,000 crore in 2012-13. India also is one of the top producers of milk, and fruits and vegetables.
A number of initiatives have been taken in recent years to increase farm production and productivity. Some of the major initiatives include:
Focussed approach for improving productivity of major crops in low-productivity districts through the mega scheme, the National Food Security Mission (NFSM). This scheme resulted in additional foodgrain production of 20 million tonne in the XI Plan. In the current Plan, additional annual foodgrain production of 25 million tonne is planed through NFSM.
Enhancing public investment in agriculture, especially by incentivising states to invest through the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) scheme. About Rs. 25,000 crore were disbursed to states under RKVY in the XI Plan and the allocation under RKVY has been enhanced. Further, states have been given a great deal of flexibility in deciding projects for which RKVY funds are to be used. In the current Plan, Rs. 1.35 lakh crore have been allocated for agricultural programmes as compared to Rs. 62,000 crore in the XI Plan.