Poor rains lower Kharif crop sowing 50% so far
Sowing of kharif crops, including rice, is down by 50 per cent at 34.56 million hectares as on Friday, but the government hopes planting will pick up in the coming days with widespread rains in central and north India.
Farmers had sown summer crops in 62.74 million hectares in the same period of the 2013-14 kharif season, that begins with the onset of southwest monsoon in June.
As of now, the total area under all kharif crops is lower because farmers could not sow on time due to delayed monsoon and there were poor rains in some parts of the country.
Monsooon, however, has revived and covered the entire country.
‘The current spell of rains has been widespread and has covered central and northern parts of the country. I hope this will help farmers sowing crops,’ Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said.
‘I am also told that Monsoon is likely to be satisfactory in the coming days,’ he added.
According to the latest data released by the Agriculture Ministry, maximum drop in sowing area was seen in oilseeds (72 per cent), followed by coarse cereals (62 per cent), pulses (60 per cent) and rice (17.38 per cent).
Area planted to rice —the key kharif crop — was down by 17.38 per cent at 12.73 million hectare as on today, as against 15.41 million hectare in the year ago.
Oilseeds acreage was down by 72 per cent at 3.8 million hectares from 13.65 million hectares, while coarse cereals area was lower by 62 per cent at 4.84 million hectares from 12.76 million hectares in the review period.
Similarly, area planted to pulses was down by 60 per cent to 2.15 million hectare from 5.41 million hectare in the same period, the data showed.
‘The sowing of oilseeds is down by 72 per cent due to non-setting of monsoon in time. The oilseeds producing states have got rains during last and this week and now sowing is in full swing. It is expected that the area under oilseeds in the next week may increase significantly,’ the ministry said.
On availability of farm inputs, the minister said that the supply of power ‘normal’ in most states, while supply of diesel, fertiliser and seeds was ‘more or less normal’ It also mentioned that there were no reports of pests and diseases so far.