Agri Business

Arrival of pre-monsoon rains in India’s food bowl to spur sowing

Prabhudatta Mishra | | Updated on: Jun 19, 2022

Rainfall deficit in North-west down to 33% from 77%

Rainfall deficit in the country’s north-west region has substantially reduced to 33 per cent as on Sunday against 77 per cent until June 15, due to widespread pre-monsoon showers in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan in particular. This will help increase sowing in this region, which largely depends on irrigation , in the next few weeks, experts said.

Total sowing areas in the four States – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan – was down 9.4 per cent at 44.85 lakh hectares (lh) until June 17 compared to the year-ago period, while Uttar Pradesh had marginally higher acreage at 26.24 lh from 25.78 lh. While Punjab and Haryana together contribute about 30 per cent of total rice procured by the Centre, Uttar Pradesh is the second largest producer of paddy and Rajasthan is largest producer of bajra and moong among all major kharif crops.

“Till last week, north-west India was the most deficit pocket out of the four homogeneous regions of the country. But, with a good spread of pre-monsoon rains over the last 3 days, the rainfall deficit has been recovered. Punjab and Haryana have witnessed excess rainfall to the tune of 518 pert cent and 110 per cent on June 17 and a huge 322 per cent and 353 per cent on June 18,” said Skymet’s Jatin Singh. Met department data show Punjab had 5 per cent higher rainfall than normal, Haryana had 30 per cent and Rajasthan 159 per cent more than average on June 19. Uttar Pradesh, though, got 45 per cent below average precipitation on Sunday.

Conditions favourable

Timely arrival of monsoon in north-west India is also going to boost the sowing activities as conditions become favourable for the advancement of monsoon over west Uttar Pradesh and Delhi region in around June 27, Singh said. Even parts of Haryana, east Rajasthan, parts of Punjab, Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh will find the monsoon advance by the end of June, he added.

Amid forecast of below normal rainfall in Punjab and northern Rajasthan in this season, the timely arrival of monsoon is definitely a big factor, said S K Singh, an agriculture scientist. However, it is equally important that the region keeps getting rains frequently so that groundwater gets recharged as most of the farmers depend on it for irrigation, he added.

According to Central Water Commission data, water level in 8 reservoirs of Uttar Pradesh was nearly at par with normal level at 1.29 billion cubic meter (BCM) as on June 16. But it is down by 26 per cent in Punjab (1 reservoir) and 17 per cent in Rajasthan (6 reservoirs).

Published on June 19, 2022
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