The country's overall production of kharif crops like paddy is likely to be better than the last year if southwest monsoon rainfall continues to be favourable in the next two months, the government said on Friday.
The sowing of kharif crops has begun with the start of the soutwest monsoon from June. Several parts of the country have received good rains, boosting the planting operations. "In view of better progress of sowing of kharif crops, if rainfall conditions during the remaining period of current monsoon season continues to be favourable as per prediction of IMD, this year's production scenario of kharif crops should be better than the last year," Minister of State for Agriculture Sudarshan Bhagat said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Till last week, total area sown to kharif crops was higher by 11.38 lakh hectares when compared to the year-ago period, he said. He also said that it is too early to have firm assessment of the kharif production for this year as the initial estimates are normally released in September.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) has projected better than normal rains after two drought years. In a separate reply, Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said the central schemes on agriculture are implemented for all farmers including SCs and STs. About 8 per cent and 15-16.2 per cent of the total funds allocated to the ministry are earmarked for tribal sub-plan and scheduled caste sub plan, respectively, during the current 2016-17 fiscal, he added.
Pulses sowing area rises by 39%
Pulses area has increased by 39 per cent to 90.17 lakh hectare so far in the ongoing the 2016-17 kharif season on the back of good monsoon rains and higher support price and bonus offered to farmers. The area under pulses has increased sharply by 87 per cent in Karnataka to 14.09 lakh hectare as of today, from 7.53 lakh hectare when compared to the year-ago period, as per the data released by the Agriculture Ministry. Pulses area stood at 64.69 lakh hectare in the year-ago period. Farmers have taken pulses planting in a big way this time buoyed by sharp hike in the support price by up to Rs 425 per quintal as well as high retail price. Sowing of paddy and other kharif crops begin with the onset of southwest monsoon from June and harvesting starts from October. Monsoon rains are higher by 1 per cent. The Met Department has forecast better than normal rains for the four-month season ending September. As per the ministry's data, all kharif crops including pulses and paddy have been covered in 65 per cent of the total farm area of 1,062 lakh hectare.