Agri Business

Kharif sowing shortfall pegged at 7%

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 19, 2019 Published on July 19, 2019

The sowing of rice and pulses are worst affected. File Photo   -  The Hindu

Sowing of rice and pulses worst affected

With monsoon rain deficit worsening to 17 per cent, kharif planting in many parts of the country was adversely hit this week and the total area covered so far remained 567 lakh hectares (lh), nearly 7 per cent lower than 609 lh planted during the corresponding period last year, according to sowing data released by the Agriculture Minister on Friday.

The sowing of rice and pulses are worst affected with oilseeds and coarse cereals showing some recovery. Rice planting till this week stood at less than 140 lh, more than 9 per cent less than 154 lh sown in the same week last year.

Some of the States reporting lower planting of rice are Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. The monsoon rainfall has been patchy in most of these States so far this season. Pulses cultivation was nearly 16 per cent lower so far compared with the corresponding week last year with all three major pulses – arhar, urad and moong reporting drop in planting. While arhar is down in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, it is urad in Madhya Pradesh and moong in both Karnataka and Rajasthan. There was considerable improvement in the sowing of coarse cereals this week with maize reaching almost the same levels as that in last year. However, jowar and bajra have some catching up to do to meeet the same levels as last year.


A drastic shortfall in soyabean cultivation in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh dragged the oilseeds area down 8.43 per cent. As against 119 lh covered in the corresponding week last year, the oilseeds has been sown in 111 lh so far this year. A 25 per cent increase in groundnut planting in Gujarat was not enough to cover the deficit.

Cotton cultivation is looking up with States such as Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharahstra reporting an increase in cotton acreage this year. Cotton is the only crop whose planted area is higher than that in the same period last year.

With nearly 42 per cent of districts in the country reporting deficient rainfall this week, water storage in the Central Water Commission monitored reservoirs in the country is less than last year’s. The total water storage in these 91 reservoirs was 39.319 billion cubic metre (BCM) compared with 51.536 BCM in the corresponding week in 2018-19.

Water levels are particularly bad in reservoirs in the South and West. While cumulative water storage in southern region water bodies was 22 per cent (last year’s 46 per cent), that in the western region was 18 per cent (22 per cent).

Published on July 19, 2019
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