Agri Business

Pick up in rains boosts sowing

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 09, 2019 Published on August 09, 2019

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

Rainfed crops such as pulses, oilseeds and coarse grains particularly benefit

Crop planting has picked up pace across the country with bountiful rains in the last few days. Sowing has been completed on over 870 lakh hectares (lh) till end of the week, according to data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday.

The coverage is 5.5 per cent lower than the 919 lh sown in the corresponding week last year. The shortfall is the highest in rice, at 265 lh (304 lh) nearly 13 per cent down.

Flood-hit West Bengal (a deficit of 9 lh), Odisha (5 lh)and Bihar (5 lh) were among the States that reported the maximum drop in rice planting. Sowing was also down in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. But, another flood-affected State, Assam, has planted more rice this season.

At a meeting here, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal expressed optimism that farmers still have time to plant rice as the monsoon is now widespread.

All other crops, he said, are more or less close to their normal planting area.

The strong pick up in rainfall has particularly helped pulses and oilseed, which are predominantly grown in rainfed areas. The gap in pulses cultivation year-on-year shrank to less than 5 per cent and that of oilseeds to 3.3 per cent. Last week, the gap had been wider at 7.55 per cent and 5.07 per cent, respectively.

For coarse cereals, also rain-dependent , the sown area is 154 lh, much the same as in the corresponding week last year.

Farmers have sown cotton on 119 lh, which is over 5 per cent more than that in the same week last year. What prompted farmers to plant cotton in more areas is the better price that it commanded in the market last year.

Reservoir levels

The rains have also led to substantial inflows into the Central Water Commission-monitored reservoirs this week, taking the cumulative storage to 76.85 billion cubic metres (BCM), which is similar to the storage level in the corresponding week last year.

According to Met officials, the monsoon deficit has now reduced to 5 per cent and the rains could continue to remain active in the coming week too.

 

Published on August 09, 2019
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