Deficit in kharif crops sowing narrows to 5.3 per cent

Prabhudatta Mishra | | Updated on: Jul 01, 2022
Sowing of in paddy areas continues to be sluggish with acreage reported at 43.45 lh as of July 1 against 59.56 lh in the corresponding period in 2021

Sowing of in paddy areas continues to be sluggish with acreage reported at 43.45 lh as of July 1 against 59.56 lh in the corresponding period in 2021

Area under bajra, moong, cotton and soyabean up as farm activities gather momentum

Over the past week, kharif sowing has gained momentum with increased rainfall in many parts of the country. The acreage under all crops was reported at 278.72 lakh hectares (lh) as of Friday against 294.42 lh in the year-ago period, down by 5.3 per cent. The drop in kharif sowing area was 23.8 per cent, as of June 24.

Farmers had planted crops on 138.2 lh during the past week (up 25 per cent from the year-ago period), while Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Rajasthan have reported higher acreage.

Gujarat cotton area down

In cotton, the coverage has increased by 3.8 per cent to 64.08 lh until Friday against 61.73 lh a year ago. Gujarat, the largest producer of the fibre, reported an acreage at 10.86 lh against 11.46 lh in the year-ago period, while second-largest producer Maharashtra reported coverage of 23.65 lh (19.59 lh). The area under cotton in Haryana was 6.51 lh (6.75 lh). In Rajasthan, it was 5.57 lh (5.37 lh) and in Telangana 9.21 lh (10.07 lh), Punjab 2.48 lh (2.54 lh), Madhya Pradesh 1.8 lh (3.34 lk) and Karnataka 2.89 lh (1.65 lh).

The area under moong in Rajasthan is up by 63.5 per cent at 6.23 lh against 3.81 lh a year ago, while in Karnataka it is higher by 10.2 per cent at 3.03 lh from 2.75 lh. The moong acreage across the country has increased by 31.8 per cent to 10.76 lh from 8.17 lh a year ago.

The area under bajra is 15.01 lh (10.23 lh a year ago), up by 46.7 per cent, while the soyabean area has gone up marginally to 30.52 lh from 30.29 lh.

Sluggish sowing

However, sowing of paddy continues to be sluggish with acreage reported at 43.45 lh as of July 1 against 59.56 lh in the corresponding period in 2021 and 74.59 lh in 2020. Except for Uttar Pradesh, all other major paddy-growing States have reported lower acreage.

“Farmers were waiting for rains in many parts and when they received monsoon in the past week, they immediately started sowing. This is a normal feature of rain-fed agriculture,” said A K Singh, agriculture commissioner. However, all stakeholders have to be prepared for any future weather aberrations, he said, adding such possibilities could not be ruled out due to climate change.

On lower paddy acreage, Singh said normal transplanting picks up from the last week of June even though the nursery is ready as farmers wait for ample rainfall. As monsoon has already reached most parts and is predicted to cover the entire country in time, hopefully, paddy acreage in northern region will see timely sowing (by July 15) this year.

IMD prediction

“In the last three decades it has been observed that there has been a fall in the number of rainy days, not much on absolute rainfall,” Singh said. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed some varieties of paddy which can withstand a dry phase for a few days due to lack rainfall or floods due to higher precipitation, he said.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted monsoon to cover the entire country a couple of days earlier than normal as it has already reached the last outpost and the north-western-most desert State of Rajasthan on Thursday.

Monsoon rainfall in June was 92 per cent of its LPA of 165.3 mm, confirming the IMD prediction of a normal precipitation (92-108 per cent of LPA). Out of 703 districts across the country, 387 were either deficient or largely deficient in June whereas these numbers were 369 until June 24.

Among major agricultural States, higher kharif sown areas have been observed in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Assam, according to weekly sowing update released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday.

Other crops

In pulses, tur has been sown on 10.57 lh against 12.22 lh in the year-ago period, urad on 3.45 lh (3.79 lh), and and other pulses on 3.28 lh (2 lh). The total acreage under all pulses has increased by 7 per cent at 28.06 lh from 26.23 lh.

Oilseeds sowing has dropped by 9 per cent to 46.34 lh from 50.36 lh, but the area under coarse cereals has increased marginally to 37.07 lh from 36.32 lh. Jute and mesta acreage is marginally down at 6.8 lh from 6.82 lh and that of sugarcane at 52.92 lh from 53.41 lh. But, the cane acreage in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka is a notch higher from the year-ago period while it is marginally lower in Maharashtra.

Published on July 01, 2022
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