Jun. 25, 2019
This monsoon deficient rainfall has forced farmers to delay planting in different parts of the country. Thus, leading to 30 to 50 per cent drop in sowing of major kharif crops, such as rice, as per data released by the Agriculture Ministry.
However, a comparatively better sowing in sugarcane and cotton, limited the kharif planting shortfall to a little more than 12 per cent. The total area covered till the end of the current week was approximate 91 lakh hectares (lh) against 104 lh in the corresponding week of the previous kharif season, as per the official data.
It is to be noted that, at 6.3 lh, the area under rice was 32 per cent which is lower than at the same time last year. Coarse cereals planting also fell short by almost a similar quantum compared to last year. At 9.58 lh planted in the same period last year, only 7.4 lh has been covered so far.
The gap is much greater for oilseeds and pulses. Oilseeds have been planted on 1.6 lh so far compared to 3.47 lh in the previous kharif season. The area under pulses is also down 50 per cent compared to last year as farmers had completed planting on 1.7 lh till end of the week.
Sugarcane cultivation was close to 50 lh, tad less than 50.68 lh over the same period last year. Cotton cultivation was 18.18 lh, around 12 per cent less than 20.68 lh last year.
In the first three weeks of the four-month season, the rainfall deficit was 42 per cent till June 21, according to the India Meteorological Department. The actual total rainfall was 58.8 mm against the normal of 100.5 mm.
Adding to it, the slow spread of the monsoon has prompted few State governments to deter their farmers from taking up planting. The Telangana government has asked its farmers to delay sowing due to the shortfall of rainfall.