Govt cuts 2017-18 potato output estimate by 3.6% to 48.5 mln tn.

The government has cut its estimate for the country’s potato output for 2017-18 (Jul-Jun) to 48.5 mln tn, down 3.6% from 50.3 mln tn projected in May. According to the third advanced estimate released recently, potato output is seen falling a marginal 0.2% on year. The fall in potato output can be attributed to the decline in area under the vegetable. Potato was sown across 2.15 mln ha in 2017-18 compared with 2.18 mln ha a year ago. The government has, however, raised its estimate for onion output for 2017-18 to 22.1 mln tn from 21.8 mln tn pegged earlier. The estimate is still down 1.6% on year. In 2016-17, Indian farmers harvested 22.4 mln tn of onions. While the government has cut its estimate for total vegetable output to 179.7 mln tn from 182.0 mln tn projected in May, the output view is 0.9% higher on year. The estimate for total fruits output has been raised to 97.1 mln tn from 94.4 mln tn pegged earlier. It is also 4.5% higher on year. The government has revised downwards its projection for the combined output of the 17 items in the spices basket to 8.4 mln tn from 8.5 mln tn pegged earlier. For total horticulture crops, the government has lowered the output estimate for 2017-18 by 0.1% from its May estimate to 306.81 mln tn. Despite the lower estimate, horticulture output is still seen 2% higher than last year’s 300.64 mln tn.