PMEAC Chairman C Rangarajan said, "The economy will grow between 7 and 7.5 per cent overall but agricultural growth may fall by 1 to 2 per cent."
Noting food inflation as a major concern, he said, "Agricultural growth rate should not fall below 4 per cent for food security as 60 per cent of the population are in rural areas."
Food inflation in the first week of Dec 2009 soared to a decade's high of 20 per cent, mainly driven by rising prices of pulses, potato and other vegetables.
Referring to the impact of the widespread drought and devastating floods on the farm sector, Rangarajan said, rice output might decline by 13 million tonnes.
However, he hoped that the rabi (winter crop) would to some extent make up for the shortfall in kharif (summer crop).