Agri Business

Kharif coverage down 6.6% despite improved rainfall

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 02, 2019 Published on August 02, 2019

Paddy sowing worst affected with area down 12.5 per cent at 223 lakh ha

Notwithstanding a moderate improvement in rainfall, kharif sowing across the country failed to register a corresponding increase with total area sown remaining at 788.5 lakh hectares (lh), about 6.6 per cent lower than 844 lh covered in the corresponding week in the previous kharif season, according to data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday.

Among the crops, rice is worst hit with planting at 223.5 lh, 12.5 per cent lower than 255 lh sown in the same period last year. Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are among the States that reported a lower area under rice this week.

Even though sowing of pulses lags as compared to the corresponding week in the 2018-19 kharif season, it seems to have picked up some momentum. It is still 7.5 per cent down as compared with the same period last year, with the area under moong 12 per cent lower. The total area under pulses is 105 lh as against 113 lh in the same week last year.




The shortfall in oilseeds coverage, on the other hand, breached 5 per cent as compared to the same period last year. As against 157 lh planted this week last year, the area covered so far is 149 lh. Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Rajasthan are among the States were oilseeds area remained lower than last year.

Maize cultivation continues to do better as compared with last year, even though the pace is slower. Coarse cereals as a whole reported a dip of around 6 per cent as compared to corresponding week last year, mainly on account of a fall in the acreage of bajra and jowar. As compared to 145 lh sown same week last year, the area under coarse cereals cultivation stood at 136 lh this week. Rajasthan and Karnataka are among the States which have sown less coarse cereals this year so far. Cotton, which commanded a good price last year, continues to do well in terms of planting. Cotton farmers across the country have brought 115 lh under the cotton crop as compared with to 110 lh in the corresponding period last year. Maharashtra and Rajasthan lead the States where cotton sowing has picked up momentum, while Gujarat is the only traditional producer to report a fall as of this week.

Though there is a slight improvement in water levels in Central Water Commission monitored reservoirs it continues to lag as compared with last year. According to the official data the cumulative water storage in the 91 water bodies this week was 54.26 billion cubic metres (BCM), which is 33 per cent of their live capacity. The water storage in the same period last year was 73.16 BCM, or 45 per cent of the capacity.

Even though 41 per cent of districts in the country so far have received deficient rains, met officials forecast better rains in the next fortnight. They expect above normal rainfall over the plains of north-west India, west coast and most parts of east India, while the rest of the country would received normal to below normal rainfall.

Published on August 02, 2019
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