Agri Business

Pulses, oilseeds planting hit by lack of rain

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 26, 2019 Published on July 26, 2019

Kharif acreage shrinks by 6.4 per cent

Deficient rains have affected planting in many parts of the country, hitting mainly pulses, coarse cereals and oilseeds crops. There has been an overall 6.44 per cent shortfall in sowing to 689 lakh hectares (lh) up to this week compared to the same period in 2018-19, official data showed. The area planted up to the corresponding week last year was 736 lh.

The drop in pulses cultivation is a whopping 19 per cent as compared to last year. While an area of 102 lh was covered in the same week last year, the planting has been completed only on 83 lh this week, according to the data released by the Agriculture Minister on Friday. While Madhya Pradesh reported a 2.1 lh and 1 lh drop in urad and urad planting, respectively, moong cultivation is down to 11.87 lh as compared to last year’s 15.86 lh in Rajasthan.

Another State that reported a dip in pulses cultivation is Karnataka, where arhar and moong acreages are down by 2.3 lh and 1.7 lh, respectively.

Oilseeds is another crop that was hit badly because of deficient rains. While the soyabean area shrank by 4.32 per cent to 97.14 lh as against 101.53 lh in the same week last year, groundnut sowing was down by 6.7 per cent to 27.23 lh as compared to 29.18 lh in the corresponding week in 2018-19.

Nearly 9 lakh shrinkage in millets cultivation from 38 lh to 29.37 lh in Rajasthan accounts for much of the dip in coarse cereal acreage in the country.

The area under coarse cereals at present is 119 lh as compared to 130.58 lh during the same period last year. Maize is the only cereal crop that has shown a slight 2 per cent increase in area, even though Madhya Pradesh reported the area under maize in the State dropping by nearly 2 lh to 12 lh.

Rice planting is also down by 6.35 per cent to 185 lh with traditional rice-growing States such as Chhattisgarh (down by 2.8 lh) Andhra Pradesh (2.1 lh), haryana (1.76 lh), Madhya Pradesh (1.3 lh) and Punjab (1 lh) reporting less acreage under paddy.

Rice cultivation, on the other hand, has picked up in States such as Assam, Bihar, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.

Cotton is the only major crop that witnessed an increase in area with planting reported on 109 lh as compared to 103 lh in the same week last year.

The planting of kharif crops is affected mainly because of a deficit in monsoon rains, which has increased to 19 per cent as compared to 17 per cent last week.


374 districts face deficit

While 302 districts out of 683 districts in the country received excess or normal rainfall, the precipitation was deficient in 374 districts. No data was available for seven districts.

The drop in rainfall has also affected water storage in reservoirs. The total water storage in 91 reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission, stood at 40.836 billion cubic metres (BCM) this week as against 65 bcm in the corresponding week last year.

Barring States in the North, most States have reported a drop in stored-water availability, the most affected being Maharashtra (43 per cent deficit), Gujarat (35 per cent), Tamil Nadu (66 per cent), Kerala (54 per cent), Andhra Pradesh and Telangana 64 per cent).

Published on July 26, 2019
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